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Posts Tagged ‘Soccer City’

PostHeaderIcon World Cup Final 2010 – Spain vs Netherlands

Last night we attended the World Cup Final at Soccer City in Johannesburg. It felt special to be there, and the atmosphere is something I will never forget. To see Nelson Mandela was something special, and everyone in the stadium gave him the standing ovation he deserves, football players are often referred to as heroes by the media (falsely), but Nelson Mandela is a real hero, and a great inspiration for millions of people.

The game did not flow very well, and compared to football played in the 3/4th playoff game from the previous night was disappointing, but lets face it, if I was only interested in the football I could have stayed at home and watched it on the tele with instant replays, attending the games has been as much about the atmosphere as the game itself. The Dutch played dirty and unfortunately their tournament will probably be remembered that way.

As with our other games, we met people in the stands, took lots of photos and did our regular video introductions…

Alex from the train to Soccer City

Andy introduces the World Cup final (be sure to listen to my score prediction)

Stacie, our gracious hostess, provides the closing comments

PostHeaderIcon Ghana versus Germany at Soccer City in World Cup 2010

Ghana is here to beat Germany at Soccer City

We raced back from Durban to rest about an hour before heading to the train station for Ghana versus Germany.  This promised to be a good game as both teams needed to perform to advance.  After our parking experience the other day when catching the train to Soccer City, we learned an important lesson about private garages around the parking zone.  Mainly when the main parking is free at the train platforms.

Let me describe free.  You are able to park on the street as well as in the lot, no charge for the World Cup event around Park Station.  However, when leaving, the staff runs to walk you to your car, make sure you back out correctly even if you are the only car and then expect some form of “tip”.  So in essence you do pay to park a small amount, just not officially.  The private parking charges unstated pricing depending on the mood and what you are willing.

So we parked on the platforms (the streets were full already) and as we entered the train station we were told that the last train to Soccer City was boarding.  It was a good 90 minutes before the game, for a fifteen minute train ride.  The end result is we made the train fine with Carl running.  Yes.  You read what I said.

90,000 people on a train to Ghana v Germany

After we moved with the sea of people, we did our intro video.

Inside it was loud as ever with huge grouping of German and Ghana fans.  In the opposite corner of our seats was an entire section of German fans that never sat down and were told to remove some banners.  A small disturbance of locals hitting each other with vuvuzelas to our left made the entire game interesting.  Yet the fans were wonderful, excited, talkative to each other and just there for a good match.

As you can see, the fans were awesome and we had excellent seats for the game.

Germany scores one against Ghana

See all of our World Cup photos at the group Flickr pool

PostHeaderIcon Our first World Cup trip to Soccer City in Johannesburg

We had our first World Cup 2010 game at Soccer City last night with the excellent game between Brazil and Ivory Coast.  We were curious to see how the flow getting into a stadium of 90,000 people would be so we took a drive to a local train station.  From there the trains were running direct to Soccer City for free.  First up is our video from inside the train station:

The train was smooth, not overly crowded and everyone was quite talkative. We met an older gentleman that actually played years ago (so he says) and he had wonderful stories.  A nearby passenger soon confirmed he did play for the team long ago.  The man was from Rustenburg where we ended yesterday for the Ghana and Australia game.  Everyone is moving all around South Africa and it doesn’t matter where you are from.  Conversation flows even across language barriers.  We made it to the Soccer City stadium, and all I can say is wow.  Here is that video where we snuck into the TV camera area to use their lights and do a mock interview.  No one bothered us but many people stopped to watch our quick interview.  We almost needed two takes as some guy named Andy kept jumping in the shot.

Inside the stadium pics can be found over on Flickr in our VVorldcup pool. It was immense, loud and unbelievable fun. We sat in a large section of Brazil fans chanting, beating drums, blowing horns and reacting to every play in the game. Here is our view as the flags enter.  See the rest on Flickr.

The flags enter for Brazil and Ivory Coast

In a bit I have an opinion posting on the crowds and interaction.  I also have a cross post coming on TheSocialNetworker about social media presence in South Africa.