Soccer City goes multipurpose
Johannesburg – Fancy a big calabash-themed wedding? Then the R3.3bn Soccer City, with its 94 700 seats, could be the perfect venue.
According to Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo, the post-World Cup stadium in Soweto can now be anything you want it to be.
He told reporters on Thursday it would be available for any events, ranging from church gatherings and weddings to rugby games.
"The stadiums are not going to be white elephants," he insisted.
"We are saying, all the stadiums are multipurpose, and will be used for concerts, rugby, soccer."
Masondo added: "You can have your wedding there, you can have your birthdays there."
He pointed out that the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) often had gatherings at FNB Stadium, which was upgraded into Soccer Stadium, designed in the shape of an African calabash.
"FNB Stadium was among others utilised by ZCC," said Masondo.
His statement might attract the attention of Shalom Ministries preacher Angus Buchan, known for his "Mighty Men" services, who told Beeld newspaper this week it would be a dream come true to preach at Soccer City.
But Johannesburg 2010 executive director Sibongile Mazibuko did not want to be drawn on what a Soccer City wedding or church gathering would cost.
She was perhaps slightly more realistic about Soccer City's future, saying there had been keen interest from rugby authorities to use the stadium.
It had already been booked for a Springboks-All Blacks Tri-Nations clash, and tickets were selling fast for the August 21 game.
Rugby showing an interest
"We have rugby showing quite a huge interest in Soccer City," she said.
Local soccer teams have already signed up other stadiums as their homes.
Mazibuko said Orlando Pirates would use Orlando Stadium, Kaizer Chiefs would use Rand Stadium, and the Swallows would use Dobsonville Stadium.
However, final matches in soccer tournaments would probably be held at Soccer City, as well as several African Cup of Nations games, said Mazibuko.