Page 1



A lasting


What is post-World Cup life like for Soccer City? South Africa Magazine asks Jacques Grobbelaar, Director of Stadium Management South Africa, how he plans to fill seats. By Ian Armitage


he Soccer City Complex and its main FNB Stadium, formerly known as Soccer City, in Soweto is a worldclass sport venue. Renovated specifically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is no “white elephant” and its success as a venue looks set to continue. The 94,000-capacity stadium, also referred to as “The Calabash”, hosted the opening game of the 2010 World Cup as well as the final between Spain and the Netherlands, both sell-


outs and huge successes. But the question following the event was, what would this and the other massive stadiums be used for next? Stadium Management South Africa already had some answers, having spent months before the tournament planning for life after the World Cup and securing new contracts. The forward planning obviously paid off. “The FNB Stadium -- built in the late 1980s specifically for soccer, on the brink of Soweto -- hosts big sport games like the Soweto Derby

between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs as well as international football and rugby matches,” says Jacques Grobbelaar, Director of Stadium Management South Africa, which manages the Soccer City Complex, FNB Stadium, Soweto’s Orlando and Volkswagen

Stadium Management South Africa (Pty) Ltd FEATURE


Stadium Management South Africa (Pty) Ltd FEATURE

Stadium Management South Africa’s Portfolio: The Soccer City Complex, FNB Stadium (National Stadium) Situated off Nasrec Road on the outskirts of Soweto, the 94,000 capacity FNB Stadium hosted the opening ceremony, opening match, four first-round matches, one second-round match, one quarter final and the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Orlando Stadium Demolished and rebuilt from scratch, the new Orlando Stadium, in Orlando East, Soweto, was one of the training venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium houses 40,000 seats, 120 hospitality suites, 2 VIP suites, One VVIP suite, Conference facilities, a Gymnasium, and a 200-seat auditorium.

Volkswagen Dobsonville Stadium Tucked away in the township of Dobsonville is one of Soweto’s famous football stadiums, the Volkswagen Dobsonville Stadium. Situated on Main Road, between Montlahla and Majova streets, the stadium has underwent refurbishments to the tune of R69 million in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Rand Stadium One of Johannesburg’s oldest stadiums, Rand Stadium, underwent a R76 million revamp in preparation for the World Cup. Located just a few kilometres from the central business district and a stone’s throw from the Turffontein Racecourse, Rand Stadium has a contemporary design and a highly technical nature. A roof covers the 3,000 spectators who can be accommodated in the grandstand and houses a total of 25,000 fans.


Dobsonville stadiums and Rand Stadium in southern Johannesburg. “The Complex and the main FNB stadium is a first world stadium, with a super atmosphere.” In addition to soccer and rugby, worldfamous entertainers also perform at the venue. “We’ve hosted the 360 degree U2 concert, Neil Diamond, Coldplay and more recently Kings of Leon,” Grobbelaar confirms. “So, although there were initial concerns that the World Cup stadiums wouldn’t be used to their full potential, this is definitely not the case with the stadia we manage.” Tournament CEO Danny Jordaan promised South Africans that the new facilities would leave a legacy for generations to come. “To ensure a lasting legacy and the commercial viability of the stadiums, they will be used for both rugby and soccer,” Jordaan said before the World Cup. “This country has also used sports stadiums for major political rallies, concerts and church events. They can, therefore, also be used for other events outside of sport,” he added. According to Grobbelaar, Stadium Management South Africa has a 10-year thoroughly thought out plan

for the Soccer City Complex. “Our advantage is that Soweto is home to South African football’s biggest teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.” The Soccer City Complex is an obvious venue for Bafana Bafana games and, Grobbelaar says, Stadium Management South Africa is currently in talks with international music performers. “We have been given full responsibility to run the Stadium, which is owned by the City of Johannesburg, and, I think we are doing a great job,” he explains. “Perhaps our biggest problem is that there are just too many events , but it is a good position to be in.”

We have been given full responsibility to run the Stadium, and are doing a great job

Stadium Management South Africa receives no funding from the City of Johannesburg for maintenance. It accepted full financial responsibility of the venue and Grobbelaar doesn’t have any concerns about future sustainability. “We know that the stadium will be utilised,” he says. “Stadium Management South Africa is the most dynamic and capable team to manage flagship sport venues and that is exactly why the City of Johannesburg has appointed us as the official management company for the Soccer City Complex, FNB Stadium, Orlando, Rand and the Volkswagen Dobsonville stadiums.”


Stadium Management South Africa (Pty) Ltd FEATURE

Grobbelaar says a large percent of the management group’s profit is ploughed into community development projects around Johannesburg, while the rest is held back for future development and maintenance. “We are committed to the community and making sure that our venues are managed in the most dynamic and competent way.” Stadium Management South Africa was a recent winner at the Stadium Business Awards 2011. Barry Pollen, Director of Stadium Management SA attended the awards ceremony and presented the firm’s strategy for delivering a legacy for the Soccer City Complex. “The judging panel was amazed this year by the incredible levels of commitment, ingenuity and above all passion behind the delivery of outstanding venues and experiences for fans,” said judge Michael Bolingbroke, COO, Manchester United FC. To learn more about Stadium Management South Africa and its fabulous sport venues visit END


We know that the stadium will be utilised. Stadium Management South Africa is the most dynamic and capable team to manage flagship sport venues Jacques Grobbelaar, Director


Your 360˚Sport & Entertainment Solution™

For all hospitality, suite, advertising and commercial opportunities contact us at

South Africa Magazine, Suite 9 and 10, The Royal, Bank Plain, Norwich, Norfolk, UK. NR2 4SF TNT Magazine, 10 Greycoat Place, London, sw1P 1sb Enquiries Telephone: 0044 (0)1603 343267 Fax: 0044 (0)1603 283602 Subscriptions Call: 00441603 283573

Gate B, Soccer City Avenue Soccer City Complex FNB Stadium, Nasrec Johannesburg Tel: +27 11 247 5300 / 0861 STADIUM Fax: +27 11 247 5310 Email: