South Africa is the first and only African country to have hosted the world cup, and this is for obvious reasons – the superb stadiums that are of world-class status in different parts of the country. However, while there are various ones around here, we are considering the stadiums in South Africa that can boast superb facilities.
Some of the biggest stadiums in South Africa include FNB Stadium, Ellis Park Stadium, Odi Stadium, Mmabatha Stadium, Cape Town Stadium, Moses Mabhida Stadium, and Kings Park Stadium amongst others.
Top 10 Biggest Stadiums In South Africa
1. FNB Stadium
Currently, FNB Stadium is the finest and biggest stadium in South Africa and Africa as a whole. The FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, with a seating capacity of 94,736 spectators, was originally inaugurated in 1989 but underwent significant renovations and expansion in 2009 to be ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Often referred to as Soccer City and The Calabash, it serves as the home ground for Kaizer Chiefs F.C. which is one of the most prominent football clubs in the country. Throughout its history, the FNB Stadium has hosted notable events, including the 2010 World Cup final clash between Spain and Netherlands where the Spaniards went home victorious.
2. Ellis Park Stadium
One of the biggest stadiums in South Africa is the famous Ellis Park Stadium. Situated within the city of Johannesburg, in Gauteng Province, this stadium stands as one of the best you can find around here, capable of accommodating 62,567 individuals. Its inauguration dates back to 1929, and it also underwent substantial renovations and expansion in 2009 in anticipation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in the country.
The stadium’s construction expenses amounted to approximately R40 Million. It proudly serves as the home venue for the Lions team in the Super Rugby Southern Hemisphere rugby competition, as well as for the Golden Lions and Currie Cup domestic rugby competitions.
3. Odi Stadium
The ODI Stadium is a renowned sporting venue in the country with a reputation too. It is situated in Mabopane and has what it takes to take around 60,000 people at a time. Known for its lively atmosphere and enthusiastic crowds when games are on, it has witnessed numerous sporting events since it was opened back then in the late 1980s.
Within the stadium, you will find an array of amenities, encompassing a football field, athletics track, field event spaces, four ticketing offices, and many more. Its modern facilities and strategic location make it a cherished destination for football enthusiasts and players alike, and it keeps contributing to the nation’s sporting legacy.
Of course, we are aware of the fact that it is well ahead of what is available in several other places in this part of the world, and can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with what is available in certain other places in the world.
4. Mmabatho Stadium
Here is another notable sports facility located in Mafikeng, with a capacity of around 60,000 people. The stadium has served as a crucial venue for various sporting events and cultural activities at different times in the country. With a rich history, it was originally built in the 1980s and has undergone renovations to modernize its facilities over the years.
Mmabatho Stadium has played host to numerous football matches, rugby games, and other sports events. It holds a special place in the hearts of sports lovers in South Africa and has been also used as a venue for concerts and other large-scale public gatherings.
Finally, we should add that the name “Mmabatho” translates to “mother of the people” in Setswana, with is one of the country’s official languages. This name reflects the stadium’s significance as a hub of communal activity and shared experiences. Mmabatho Stadium has indeed contributed to the sporting landscape in South Africa as a whole since it was erected many years ago.
5. Cape Town Stadium
Also, Cape Town Stadium is one of the very best stadiums around here. It is a pride of Cape Town, big enough to host some 58,300 people at a time whenever a game is on.
Nestled against the backdrop of Table Mountain, Cape Town Stadium, which was referred to as Green Point Stadium during the initial stage, is now a striking architectural gem. Its modern structure incorporates sustainable features like rainwater harvesting. This is not surprising as it has a construction cost of R4.4 billion.
Cape Town Stadium, which is equipped with cutting-edge facilities and is known for hosting a variety of activities, not only serves as a sporting arena but also enriches the city’s cultural fabric.
6. Moses Mabhida Stadium
Here is another big stadium in South Africa that can boast a capacity of around 54,000. Located in Durban, Moses Mabhida Stadium is not as old as certain others in the country (as it was opened in 2009) and was able to prove its usefulness when it was time for both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
Interestingly, Moses Mabhida Stadium is not only all about football alone, but it also features other sports like cricket, motorsports, and many more. Generally, the stadium stands as an architectural marvel. Its unique design features an impressive arch that offers breathtaking views of the city.
The stadium boasts modern facilities, including hospitality suites, corporate lounges, and media centres. Moses Mabhida Stadium remains a symbol of Durban’s spirit and a hub for entertainment, attracting both locals and tourists.
7. Kings Park Stadium
One other large stadium in South Africa that should be included here is the famous Kings Park Stadium. Also referred to as Jonsson Kings Park Stadium, it can be found in the Kings Park Sporting Precinct in Durban.
Formerly a prominent rugby ground, it held a special place in the hearts of fans. Originally built in 1891, the stadium underwent numerous renovations over the years and is currently the home ground of the Sharks.
With a seating capacity of around 52,000, it witnessed memorable rugby clashes, including matches during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Kings Park Stadium’s historic significance, coupled with its vibrant atmosphere, contributed to the growth of sports culture in Durban. While its rugby days have evolved, the stadium’s past glories remain an integral part of the city’s sporting history.
8. Newlands Stadium
Newlands Stadium, located in Cape Town, is another renowned sporting arena in the country. Steeped in tradition, it is one of the biggest stadiums the country can also boast of. Primarily known as a cricket and rugby venue, it holds a special place in the hearts of sports lovers in different parts of South Africa.
With a capacity of up to 51,900 people, it was opened in 1888 and was renovated in 1919. Newlands Stadium is even reputable to be the oldest rugby stadium in the country and has hosted many games.
We can’t deny the fact that Newlands Stadium’s intimate setting offers an electric atmosphere for fans. It should also be added that it is the home ground for the Cape Town Stormers rugby team as well as the Western Province cricket team.
9. Loftus Versfeld Stadium
One of the largest stadiums in South Africa is the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. It was built in 1906 and was officially opened in 1923, and can hold 51,762 people at a time when a game is going on.
Based in the Arcadia suburb of Pretoria, Gauteng, and home to Mamelodi Sundowns which is one of the best and most prominent football clubs in the country, the stadium was renovated in 1977 and expanded in 2008.
Generally, while the stadium has hosted games of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is not only all about football alone. For instance, it is also the home ground of the Bulls and the Blue Bulls union in the country’s Currie Cup and was also utilised for the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
This is a hub for passionate sports fans that can boast of a distinctive design which features a mix of modern facilities and classic architecture. Indeed, Loftus Versfeld remains a cultural landmark and an enduring symbol of South African sports enthusiasm.
10. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, situated in Port Elizabeth, stands as a modern symbol of unity and progress. Completed in 2009 for the FIFA World Cup, this state-of-the-art arena accommodates around 48,459 sports lovers at a go.
Its unique design, resembling a flower, pays homage to the region’s natural beauty and diverse culture. The stadium’s significance extends beyond sports, hosting concerts, festivals, and community events. Home to Chippa United, it has become a rallying point for locals and visitors alike.
Its central location, facing the Indian Ocean, offers breathtaking views. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium honours the legacy of the South African legend and former President, Nelson Mandela. It promotes inclusivity and social cohesion while contributing to the city’s growth and reputation on both national and international stages.
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Highlighted above are the biggest stadiums in South Africa, scattered across different parts of the country. They are not only notable for size alone but are also of world-class status to a reasonable measure.