30 October 2009
Green Point Stadium’s “ring of fire”, the 360 inner spotlights that will light up the pitch – and the city of Cape Town – during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ have been switched on for the first time.
Motorists and residents in the surrounding areas of Cape Town will have seen the big switch-on last Wednesday night.
Some commented that the lights were extremely bright, but the correct brightness will only be seen once all the lights have been individually synchronised through the use of a light metre on the pitch.
The brightness was also enhanced by the fact that the stadium’s outer façade, which will help to soften the light, has not yet been completed.
Meanwhile, plans for the stadium’s grass pitch have been changed. Following a request from Fifa, the stadium grass will now be grown through a seeding process. The two grass pitches being grown in Stellenbosch outside Cape Town will be kept as back-ups.
Seeding was due to start this week. The sand underlay has been fumigated, and testing has started on the sprinkler system. Holes for the goal posts have also been dug.
Grassing experts believe the seeds will start to sprout after 14 days, and the pitch should be green by the official stadium handover on 14 December, and fully playable towards the end of January 2010.
With less than two months to the deadline for the completion of the stadium, all systems are on track. Commissioning tests on the inner workings of the stadium – from CCTV surveillance cameras to IT cabling to ceilings and detail finishes – are in progress.
The all-glass roof has been completed, and installation of the seats is far advanced.
The 70 000-seater stadium will host nine World Cup matches, more than any other South African stadium, including a semi-final match.
Sport and recreation precinct
The multi-purpose stadium, suitable for football and rugby, music concerts and major events, will have 55 000 seats after 2010, as 13 000 seats needed for the World Cup semi-final will be replaced to create a more usable facility space.
Once completed, Green Point Stadium will form part of an urban sport and recreation precinct situated on the 85-hectare Green Point Common.
It will include an urban park as well as a green area, practice and playing fields for seven different sporting codes, as well as clubhouse facilities.
Walkways will link the precinct to the Atlantic Ocean walkways, the historical Mouille Point lighthouse, and the booming Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.