06 June 2010

5 days to go

In a last city tour of FIFA World Cup preparations, one can see that finishing touches are being applied and everything is up and ready for action come June 11. The tour encompassed the beach front, stadium precinct, Donkin Memorial and St George's Park cricket ground, host of the fan park showing World Cup matches. All looks in good condition with the city far cleaner and more pleasing to the eye than usual. Roads being tarred around the stadium are complete. Beautification and landscaping of the precinct are now complete. The beach front area has also received attention, with removal of the unsightly old swimming pool, as well as Brooke's Pavilion building completed and currently underway respectively.

The Donkin Memorial, however, seems problematic. It looks doubtful that it will be completed before the first match kicks off. The large SA flag should've been hoisted by such time but surrounding earthworks are still ongoing. One can only hope it'll be completed during the tournament for tourists to frequent during quarterfinal and 3rd place matches.

The fan park at St George's Park is being prepared, with a large 75m squared screen being put in place and a stage being assembled next door. This stage will host local talent before kickoff, during halftime intervals and after the match. The fan park looks the place to be for a true World Cup vibe if one lacks tickets into the stadium.

Pictures illustrating such developments:

Beach front developments are diverse. Flags and colours are the order of the day as the Tournament draws nearer.

On the left goes the big screen, on the right, the stage. The fan park will have a carnival atmosphere.

Further view of the setup.

From the opposite end of St George's Park cricket ground.

Main route into the stadium. BRT infrastructure in place as the colossus looms in the background.

Medical tents for the injured players.

Landscaping of the surrounds includes this unique paving stone encircling the newly planted tree. Lights are astride to light up the trees for night matches.

Hyundai circular advertising structure. Certainly catches the eye.

Ticket retrieval and searching. The excitement will palpable in this set of narrow passages come match days.

FIFA signage on the entrance. The walkway towards the entrance is paved and well lit, and increases the anticipation a notch before walking into the bowl.

A typically South African, Eastern Cape flower, the aloe. A true taste of SA for foreigners visiting the games.

The centre of attention in Nelson Mandela Bay over the next month.


Walter Tully said...

FIFA is definitely one of the most awaited sporting events this year. It gives pride to a country to host a major sporting event. Infrastructures are built to cater to the upcoming event. The United States has been host to a multitude of international sports competitions. Last year, some friends and I watched an international Rugby event in the stadium at Glendale parks and recreation. The energy in the stadium was really high whenever we cheered for our home team. The experience at the Glendale parks and recreations was amazing. Hope to see more sports events soon.

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