About 5 000 seats of the colossal 90 450-seater stadium were filled with jubilant children and senior citizens who were invited by Stadium Management South Africa.
The day began with visitors receiving food parcels, singing the national anthem, doing the diski dance and greeting each other in all eleven languages. They were then treated to an all access tour of the stadium and soccer related games and activities.
“I got to see the changing rooms, sit on the benches that Bafana Bafana will sit on and I went onto the pitch for penalty shots” said Vuyo a pupil from Zithathele Primary School.
The completed 2010 World Cup flagship stadium was handed over to the City of Johannesburg earlier this month and the event was one of many test events that will take place to ensure that it is ready for the global spectacle.
Accessibility, parking facilities, medical and emergency staff and communication equipment was tested while guests were entertained.
Stadium Management South Africa’s director Jacques Grobblelaar said they have received numerous queries about Soccer City and requests from Gauteng residents to see it.
Fifty-one year old, Miemi Molenga of Moletsane Senior Citizens Club said “We wanted to come and see the stadium and live history, while we make history. This stadium will host the first game of the first World Cup to come to Africa and I am so blessed to be alive to witness it.”
Soccer City’s management is going to great lengths to ensure that the flagship stadium does not become a “white elephant” post 2010.
Apart from hosting the World Cup and premiership soccer lead games, it will serve as an alternative home ground for three clubs and will be available for conferences, concerts, corporate and community development events.
Management is planning on turning the multi purpose stadium into an interactive museum and have already had discussion with Gauteng’s Arts and Culture Department.
The next test event will be a gospel concert that takes place on the 3rd of April and is excepted to host 20 000-30 000 people. Times Live