Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsNelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Where? 70 Prince Alfred Roadd, Port Elizabeth, 6001, South Africa
How? Call +27 (0)41 408-8900
The province of the Eastern Cape had never had a world-class football stadium before the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was constructed here for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. This stadium was designed to resemble a massive flower (most folk identify it as a protea), with petal-like panels making up the open roof. Located right next to the North End Lake, just a short distance away from the ocean, this stadium has made a remarkable difference to the look and feel of Port Elizabeth’s industrial area. This unique locale of lake and ocean also sets this stadium apart from others all over the world.
Its flower design is not only aesthetic, but was also selected as it can withstand the strong winds for which The Friendly City is so well known. The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is five storeys high with 46 000 seats. An additional 4 000 chairs were made available for the World Cup. It has 49 hospitality suites, a number of lecture rooms, function rooms, two business lounges, and a gymnasium. There are ramps and lifts, 32 turnstiles, and 74 toilet blocks. There are also 500 parking spaces inside the stadium.
Two massive viewing screens, each measuring 12.7 x 7.2 metres, were mounted inside the stadium, ensuring that spectators do not miss a single part of the action on the field. The chairs are randomly coloured different shades of red and orange. This makes the stadium appear fuller on the television screens and makes it more difficult to spot recently replaced chairs.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is situated in North End, which is both industrial and residential. Major highways are minutes away, making the rest of Nelson Mandela Bay (comprising Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch) easily accessible. In fact, most of the major hotels and guest houses are within about 15 minutes’ drive from the stadium, as are the beaches.
Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, this stadium has become the home of the EP Kings, Southern Kings and Chippa United, and has hosted a number of tournaments, matches and even music concerts.