Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World Cup -White Elephants

South Africa spent a whopping 38 billion rand (£3.7 billion) on stadiums and infrastructure to realise the vision of Africa's first World Cup.

Neal Collins, a South African-born author and journalist explains Fifa left behind them a shameful legacy of empty stadiums.
"The white elephants - 10 magnificent football stadiums lying empty and unused - serve as a constant reminder of the expensive legacy of the Fifa World Cup,"

Collins says: "In Polokwane, the new Peter Mokabe stadium, capacity 45,000, sits unused next to the old Peter Mokabe stadium, capacity 20,000, which was quite suitable for South Africa’s northernmost city. In rural Nelspruit, the Mbombela Stadium has no suitors. Neither city has a side in the local Premier League."

In Durban the Moses Mabhida stadium was recently snubbed by neighbouring rugby team the Sharks as its operators searched for a new tenant, whilst cricket bosses are unhappy that the playing areas of all the new stadiums are too small for their sport.

Soccer City in Johannesburg served as the flagship stadium of the World Cup and largest sports venue in Africa. The 95,000 seater venue underwent a £300 million renovation before the World Cup and costs around £250,000 a month to maintain.It is regarded as the de facto national stadium for the South African football team but other than the occasional derbies between local rivals Kaizer Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates, the stadium has struggled to generate post World Cup revenue.

Cape Town's Green Point stadium, which hosted England's second group match against Algeria, hosts the odd Ajax Cape Town football match, luring an average of 7,000 supporters to the venue which has a capacity of 55,000 (reduced from 64,000) after the World Cup.

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