Sunday, March 28, 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010: Stadium Tour

FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg StadiumYessir! I was here first. :)

Here's a pictorial tour of the main soccer stadium in Johannesburg that will host the opening and closing ceremonies during the FIFA World Cup 2010. Like a billion fans around the world already know, this BIG event kicks off on June 11 here. I was very excited with the opportunity to get a tour of the stadium, a walk through the team dressing rooms and a visit to the heart of the facility that contains the high-tech nerve center that will let the world's media beam back images instantaneously to fans back home.

FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg StadiumSoccer City, as this stadium is popularly called, has seen a major upgrade for this event. Its design has been inspired by African pottery, the calabash. At night-time, the mosiac of earthern colors will have a ring of lights at the bottom making the stadium look like a massive pot placed over fire. As we went through the gates, we could see workers busy with the finishing touches outside.

FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg StadiumFinally, we were inside the massive structure. The green field surrounded by rings of orange seats made for a colorful picture.

FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg StadiumI was here on work (yes, I know, lucky me!!), but let me explain the hat I am wearing. The yellow hat represents a miner's hard-hat and South Africans tend to arrive with elaborate decoration on them during matches. The other person in the picture was our tour guide who gave us several interesting nuggets of information on the stadium. Below is the players' tunnel followed by the dressing and shower rooms.

FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg Stadium
FIFA World Cup 2010 Johannesburg StadiumAt the top of the stadium, the mosaic made for a pretty pattern against the deep blue skies. The day was pretty warm, but 74 days from now when the world tunes in, the Johannesburg winter ought to make for a much more pleasant day-time temperatures.

Previously in this series: A taste of Johannesburg.

13 comments:

Aarti said...

WOW!You sure are lucky!!My hubby would do anythg to get a tour like that!!!anyways thanku for the first cut view of the stadium.Hope you get to travel there in June sometime.... and watch a "live match":)

Rohit Khurana said...

Nice Pics Shantanu, I really like the 8th one from top with a long row of chairs !
Wonderful !

Sid said...

The pattern actually feels like holes in the wall. Did they actually leave some areas un-tiled to create that effect? Pretty nice.
You are surely very lucky.

RennyBA's Terella said...

Woooow, I envy you!! Even if Norway did not qualified for the championship this time, I know this tournament will be great!

Must have been great to visit the place in advance and what great architecture - thanks for the well documented photos!

Btw: Sorry I haven't been around that much lately as I am very busy at work and also make the best plan for the Oslo Blog Gathering (we will miss you!).

Manodeep said...

Awesome... Are you planning to go there again during World Cup?

infopediaonlinehere said...

wow...you are so lucky dude

Priyank said...

Shantanu!! Great to be back after a long break, I savoured (literally) several posts today but this was the climax!! Congratulations!!

beaverboosh said...

Man you do get around!

Anonymous said...

good post

Lakshmi said...

wow..im a bit late here but what a tour..Im sure you are going there for the tournament again

HAREKRISHNAJI said...

Mind blowing

HAREKRISHNAJI said...

Mind blowing

Shantanu said...

@Aarti: Thanks! I am not planning to attend the soccer matches in June. I am a cricket guy. :)

@Rohit: Yup, the orange chairs contrasted well in the bright sunlight and the blue skies. Thanks.

@Sid: They had glass on them I think. Can't be sure.

@Renny: I can imagine you will be watching the matches intently.

@Manodeep: Not really...

@Priyank: Thanks.

@beaverboosh: So much that my visits to blogpals has been drastically reduced as you must have noticed. However, my new iPad should rectify that. Much easier to browse in airport lounges if they have wifi.

@Lakshmi: Actually not.

@Harekrishnaji: Thanks.