Here's what to expect when you get off plane... in year 2010...
Well for one thing, get used to “Vuvuzelas”; you're going to be hearing a lot of them. Come to think of it, you might as well get one for yourself. As old saying goes...“if you can't beat em, you'd better join em”.
What is a Vuvuzela anyway? Roughly translated it means “noise maker”, which describes exactly what these elongated indigenous trumpets do. Recognized as a popular symbol of our soccer crazed culture, Nelson Mandela ordered hundreds of Vuvuzelas to be taken to Zurich in support of South Africa's bid for 2010 Soccer World Cup. So far, they seem to have worked like a charm.
Now that South Africa's got ball, what are we going to do with it?
For starters, President Thabo Mbeki plans on kicking around at least 100 billion Rand in honour of beautiful game. Thirteen stadiums have been proposed, with venues located in key cities around country, five of which are in process of being built, another five are being renovated and a further three are almost ready.
Making sure transport is up to scratch, 700 dedicated World Cup buses are expected to operate between venue cities. At least 250 coaches, dedicated to World Cup, will offer long-distance links between venues. In addition, special rail services are ready to transport fans to thirteen state-of-the-art stadiums across country.
A quick profile of three major host cities:
First stop! Jo'burg's Soccer City
Your first World Cup destination will in all likelihood be in Johannesburg, where opening match will be played. The city of Johannesburg has already hosted several large sporting events. The Rugby World Cup final, played at Ellis Park and final of African Cup of Nations, which took place at Soccer City. You can expect modern venues with all trimmings. The first matches will be played between both of these world-class venues. The opening match at Soccer City, otherwise known as FNB Stadium, will mark start of tournament. The other venue is 94,000 seat Ellis Park Stadium, which is a mere 15 minute walking distance from City Centre.
Here's a tip on where to accommodate yourself on World Cup kick-off day: FIFA's headquarters are going to be based in suburb of Sandton, with games being played between two venues, Ellis Park and Soccer City. It might be a good idea to find accommodation between two stadiums, namely Sandton if possible, this will ensure you have convenient access to venues.
Which city hosts next game?
Although nobody knows for sure at this stage, it's highly likely that Cape Town's Newlands Stadium will be hosting first and second round matches of World Cup. Cape Town or just “beautiful city” is no doubt a venue that has it all. The city sports a vibrant array of beaches, mountains, wine estates and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.