Moses Mabhida Stadium

Capacity56 000
7,500 (Business seats)
Country Republic of South Africa
CityDurban
Clubs-
Inauguration 28/11/2009
Cost R 1.6 billion
Construction 06/2006-2009
Design GMP Architekten, Ibola Lethu Architects
Design time 2006
Contractor Group Five, WBHO, PANDEV JV

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Description: Moses Mabhida Stadium

When Durban authorities decided to build a new football stadium, it was intended to become a landmark recognizable worldwide. Unique in its form, it was at the same time supposed to be flexible enough to host a variety of events, with football for 50,000 people and athletic events for up to 80,000 – the minimum for Olympic opening ceremony which was among Durban’s aspirations apart from the 2010 World Cup.

This vision was best answered by GMP Architekten who were chosen to design the venue. It’s most spectacular feature is the massive arch supporting the roof. Contrary to Wembley, it’s also a viewpoint accessible by cabin or stairways. Another attraction is the world’s largest swing hanging under the arch which allows extreme sports enthusiasts to fly above the pitch.

Light membrane roof and similarly slender columns creating facades make the structure seem light despite giant size. Under this delicate shell are two tiers of permanent seating with room for a third one, expandable to even 26,000 seats.

Under construction for well over 3 years, this stadium cost $3.4 billion and became one of the most elaborate venues to ever host the World Cup. But after the FIFA tournament from 2010 it turned out there is no anchor tenant despite attempts to relocate local rugby club here from nearby Kings Park. Thus ever since opening the stadium has been struggling to get out of the red.

Initially intended to be named after King Senzagakhona (leader of the Zulu people, father of Shaka), it was eventually named after a political leader Moses Mabhida, whose body was transported in 2009 to South Africa from Mozambique.

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