Cape Town’s 2010 World Cup stadium venue, Green Point Stadium, is on track to be completed by December 14, 2009, six months ahead of the July 11, 2010 World Cup kick off, reports the City of Cape Town.

A high-level delegation of world soccer governing body, FIFA, and the local 2010 FIFA World Cup organising body, Local Organising Committee (LOC), were hosted by the City of Cape Town in May as part of an progress inspection on the new Green Point Stadium development.

LOC CEO Danny Jordaan and FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke, lead the LOC and FIFA delegation, whose primary purpose was also to examine the suitability of the Cape Town International Convention Centre as a host of the final draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup event.

FIFA has since announced its selection of the City of Cape Town and the international conventional centre as the hosts of the final draw.

The event is expected to be a global media event and will take place on December 4, 2009.

“The LOC technical advisory team expressed their satisfaction with both the facilities and progress on the site,” says the City of Cape Town’s 2010 spokesperson, Pieter Cronje.

The venue for Cape Town’s 2010 FIFA World Cup matches has steadily taken shape since then, and is one third complete and on schedule, reports Cronje.

The City of Cape Town celebrated its first year anniversary in March, this year, since construction began at the new Green Point Stadium, and Cape Town mayor Helen Zille marked this milestone with a visit to the stadium to assess construction progress.

“We’re seeing extraordinary results, beyond expectations,” said Zille in her council speach earlier this year.

The mayor also thanked the national and provincial governments for their financial contribution to the stadium.

She said that construction of the stadium is just one aspect of the City and province’s 2010 planning, as significant road and transport upgrades are under way, and operational planning is ongoing.

“The biggest challenge is public cynicism, and the disbelief that we could do it. I hope this stadium will be a metaphor and symbol to show that South Africa can get it right,” said Zille.

She mentioned that the City of Cape Town can bridge a funding gap of some R500-million with the help of national and provincial government.

Zille added that the gap is the result of cost increases in building material and subcontracts,and the booming construction industry.

The naming rights of the stadium would be sold, together with cost-saving engineering and advance ticket sales, which would collectively contribute to the management of the costs of the project, said Zille.

The City of Cape Town reports that it hopes to award the long-term operator and naming rights contracts by the middle of the year.

Meanwhile, FIFA’s visit to the Green Point stadium last month, follows a FIFA inspection tour of four of the nine 2010 World Cup host cities by a host of delegates in October, last year.

The delegation, composed of experts in competitions, marketing, information technology, media, accommodation, security, stadium construction and transportation from FIFA and LOC, were able to interact with host cities and engage with them on the event requirements during the stadium construction phase.

The FIFA and LOC inspection team also received progress reports in many areas of host city activities, ranging from venue construction to accommodation, finance, transport and the environment during the three-day tour.

“We were able to see signs of huge transformation in the host cities. The task ahead is a big one and we admire the ambition and efforts in the host cities to make 2010 a successful event”, said FIFA’s head of media operations for the 2010 FIFA World Cu Alain Leiblang, who was part of the delegation.

“The inspection tour signals another major achievement on the road to South Africa meeting FIFA requirements. We are very happy with the outcome. A lot of hard work has been done by the host cities and considerable progress is being made. We want to give credit to all the host cities for that,” added Jordaan.

FIFA’s Valcke continued to say that the world organising body is committed to ensuring that the 2010 World Cup leaves a lasting legacy of social, environmental, economic and community benefits for each host city.

PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Sylvester Haskins
DATED: 20th June 2008