FNB Stadium

FNB Stadium
Soccer City, The Calabash
Location Stadium Avenue, Nasrec, Johannesburg, South Africa
Coordinates 26°14′5.27″S 27°58′56.47″E / 26.2347972°S 27.9823528°E / -26.2347972; 27.9823528Coordinates: 26°14′5.27″S 27°58′56.47″E / 26.2347972°S 27.9823528°E / -26.2347972; 27.9823528
Owner City of Johannesburg
Operator Stadium Management South Africa
Executive suites 195
Capacity 94,736
Record attendance 94,713 (South Africa-New Zealand, 21 August 2010)
Field size 105m X 68m
Surface Grass
Broke ground 1986
Opened 1989[1]
Renovated 2009
Expanded 2009
Construction cost Rand 3.3 billion
(USD $ 440 million)
Architect Boogertman & Partners, HOK Sport (now Populous)[2]
1999 All-Africa Games
Kaizer Chiefs
South Africa national football team
South Africa national rugby union team
2010 FIFA World Cup
Soccer City during the kick-off match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico.

First National Bank Stadium or simply FNB Stadium, also known as Soccer City and The Calabash, is a stadium located in Nasrec, bordering the Soweto area of Johannesburg, South Africa. The venue is managed by Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA)[3] and is a home ground of Kaizer Chiefs F.C. in the South African Premier Soccer League as well as key fixtures for the South African national football team (Bafana Bafana).

It is located next to the South African Football Association headquarters (SAFA House) where both the FIFA offices and the Local Organising Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were housed.[4] Designed as the main association football stadium for the World Cup, the FNB Stadium became the largest stadium in Africa with a capacity of 94,736. However its maximum capacity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup was 84,490 due to reserved seating for the press and other VIPs. The stadium is also known by its nickname "The Calabash" due to its resemblance to the African pot[5] or gourd.

It was the site of Nelson Mandela's first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison in 1990, and served as the venue for a memorial service to him on 10 December 2013.[6][7] It was also the site of Chris Hani's funeral.[6]

It was also the venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, which was played by the Netherlands and Spain. The World Cup closing ceremony on the day of the final saw the final public appearance of Mandela.[8]

The Calabash

Naming history

The stadium has been officially known as FNB Stadium since it was opened in 1989. This was due to a naming rights deal with First National Bank. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as in the month before the tournament, the stadium was referred to as Soccer City. This was done as FIFA does not allow stadiums to be referred to by sponsored names during FIFA-sanctioned tournaments. The stadium's current name is FNB Stadium.


The stadium underwent a major upgrade for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with a new design inspired by the shape of an African pot, the calabash.[9] The South African main contractor GLTA, part of the Aveng Group in a joint venture with the Dutch company BAM who had a 25% stake, constructed the upgrade, which was designed by the architects HOK Sport (renamed Populous in January 2009) and Boogertman + Partners. The upgrade included: an extended upper tier around the stadium to increase the capacity to 88,958,[10] an additional 2 executive suites, an encircling roof, new changing room facilities and new floodlights. The number of suites in the stadium was increased to 195. Grinaker-LTA and BAM international won the R1.5 billion[11] tender to upgrade the stadium.[12] The construction was completed on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 and was marked by a huge celebration at the stadium.[10]

Stadium design

The outside of the stadium is designed to have the appearance of an African pot; the cladding on the outside is a mosaic of fire and earthen colours with a ring of lights running around the bottom of the structure, simulating fire underneath the pot. No spectator is seated more than 100 metres (330 ft) from the field, and there are no restricted views in the stadium.[13]

The stands in the FNB Stadium are articulated by ten black vertical lines; nine are aligned geographically with the nine other stadiums involved in the 2010 World Cup. Because 9 is considered to be an unlucky number in South African traditional culture, a tenth line was added. This tenth line is aimed at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, which hosted the previous World Cup final in 2006. This represents the road to the final and it is hoped that after the World Cup, each goal scored at the stadium will be placed in pre-cast concrete panels on a podium so that the full history of the tournament’s scores can be seen for years to come.[14]

Before the upgrade

Before the upgrade, the stadium had a capacity of 80,000. The newly reconstructed stadium retains part of the original structure's west upper tier, although this and the entire lower tier were rebuilt to improve sightlines. The lower tier was completely reconstructed and divided into two segments which enabled the creation of a new lower concourse (the lower embankment concourse) linked to the existing ground level concourse.

Major tournaments

1996 African Cup of Nations

FNB Stadium served as the main venue for the tournament. It hosted the opening game, 5 other group games, a quarter final, a semi final, the 3rd place play-off and the final. The games were:

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
1996-01-13 South Africa 3–0 Cameroon Group A (opening match)80,000
1996-01-15 Egypt 2–1 Angola Group A6,000
1996-01-18 Cameroon 2–1 Egypt Group A4,000
1996-01-20 South Africa 1–0 Angola Group A30,000
1996-01-24 South Africa 0–1 Egypt Group A20,000
1996-01-25 Zaire 2–0 Liberia Group C3,000
1996-01-27 South Africa 2–1 Algeria Quarter-finals80,000
1996-01-31 South Africa 3–0 Ghana Semi-finals80,000
1996-02-03 Ghana 0–1 Zambia Third place match80,000
1996-02-03 South Africa 2–0 Tunisia Final80,000

2010 World Cup

The stadium hosted the opening ceremony followed by the opening match between South Africa and Mexico, 4 other group stage matches, a Round of 16 match, a quarter-final and the final.

Date Time (UTC+02) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
2010-06-1116.00 South Africa 1–1 Mexico Group A (opening match)84,490
2010-06-1413.30 Netherlands 2–0 Denmark Group E83,465
2010-06-1713.30 Argentina 4–1 South Korea Group B82,174
2010-06-2020.30 Brazil 3–1 Ivory Coast Group G84,455
2010-06-2320.30 Ghana 0–1 Germany Group D83,391
2010-06-2720.30 Argentina3–1 Mexico Round of 1684,377
2010-07-0220.30 Uruguay1–1 (4–2 on pen.) GhanaQuarter Finals84,017
2010-07-1120.30 Netherlands0–1 (aet) SpainFinal84,490

2013 African Cup of Nations

FNB Stadium served as a venue for the tournament. It hosted the opening game, one group game and the final. The games were:

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
2013-01-19 South Africa 0–0 Cape Verde Group A (opening match)50,000
2013-01-19 Angola 0–0 Morocco Group A25,000
2013-02-10 Nigeria1–0 Burkina Faso Final85,000


International football

FNB stadium has been used by the South African national football team for both friendlies and qualification matches. It was seen as the de facto national stadium for Bafana Bafana after re-admission in 1992, who played their third ever international match there on 11 July 1992 where they drew 2-2 with Cameroon courtesy of goals from Phil and Bennett Masinga for South Africa in front of 65,000 supporters. The "old" FNB Stadium also housed the then South African Football Association (SAFA) headquarters as well as the offices of the semi-professional National Soccer League (which later traded as the professional Premier Soccer League).

The stadium has also hosted large continental club fixtures. It is largely remembered as the venue where Bafana Bafana lifted the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations when they beat Tunisia 2-0 in front of a full capacity in a match witnessed by then South African president, Nelson Mandela, his then deputy president and former South African State President, FW de Klerk, as well as Zulu monarch, King Zwelithini. The South African national football team also won their first ever trophy here when they lifted the Simba Four Nations Cup in 1995, in a competition featuring Egypt, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The venue for the first leg of the 1995 African Cup of Champions Clubs final, between Orlando Pirates and ASEC Abidjan. The stadium has also hosted the CAF Super Cup twice. It hosted the 1994 CAF Super Cup, between Zamalek and Al-Ahly, as well as the 1996 CAF Super Cup between Orlando Pirates and JS Kabylie. In 2004, the stadium hosted final of the Vodacom Challenge, between AS Vita Club and Kaizer Chiefs.

Some of the most memorable Bafana Bafana matches at the venue include the narrow 3-2 defeat to Brazil in 1996 as well as the country's memorable triumph when they secured passage through to a first ever World Cup appearance for the 1998 Fifa World Cup in France when they beat Republic of Congo 1-0 through a Phil Masinga strike in 1997.

During the 2010 Fifa World Cup, one of the most entertaining matches was played here in the quarterfinal stages when Uruguay beat Ghana 2-1 made more memorable by a blatant handball by Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez's handball which denied a Ghana and Africa a first ever semifinal appearance at the world soccer showpiece.

Local football

The FNB Stadium is home to Kaizer Chiefs Football Club. It is also the preferred venue for the Soweto derby football matches - the country's biggest sporting showpiece - involving Soweto based Premier Soccer League clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. It was also the traditional home of the Iwisa Maize Meal Spectacular and later, the Telkom Charity Cup, which were charity soccer season openers in South African football from 1990 to 2006, before it was closed for renovations. The Charity Cup then returned in 2010. The stadium was re-opened when it hosted the 2010 Nedbank Cup final between Bidvest Wits and Amazulu. The game ended, 3–0, to Bidvest Wits. Fabricio Rodrigues was the first player to score at the "new" Soccer City. The first league match at the stadium since being rebuilt, was a 2010–11 Premier Soccer League match between Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars. The first MTN 8 match at the stadium was the first leg of the 2010 MTN 8 semifinal, between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The venue has also hosted high profile Bafana Bafana matches, including the South African national football team's 1-0 win over Spain in 2013 as well as the side's worst ever defeat when they lost 5-0 to Brazil in another international friendly in 2014.


FNB stadium is a multi-purpose venue and hosted its first rugby union match in 2010, the Tri Nations match between South Africa and New Zealand, won by the latter. The attendance was 94,713 which is listed as the third highest rugby attendance ever in the Southern Hemisphere and a record attendance for the redeveloped stadium until it was eclipsed on 1 August 2015 when 94,807 was recorded when Orlando Pirates played Kaizer Chiefs in the Carling Black Label Cup fixture.The stadium hosted New Zealand again in the 2012 Rugby Championship on 6 October with the All Blacks defeating the Springboks 32-16 in front of 88,739. In 2013 they beat Argentina 73–13 at the FNB Stadium in front of 52,867. In 2016, the venue also hosted Varsity Cup rugby fixtures.


Band/artist Tour Date Attendance
U2 U2 360° Tour 13 February 2011 94 232[15]
Neil Diamond Concert Tour 2011 2 April 2011
Coldplay Mylo Xyloto Tour 8 October 2011[A] 62 000[16]
Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown World Tour 29 October 2011 60 000[17]
Linkin Park Living Things World Tour 10 November 2012 63 000[18]
Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball 30 November 2012 56 900[19]
Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With You World Tour 2 February 2013 65 000[20]
Metallica 2013 Vacation Tour 27 April 2013 >40 000[21]
Bon Jovi Because We Can - The Tour 11 May 2013 65 182[22]
Justin Bieber Believe Tour 12 May 2013 62 000[23]
Rihanna Diamonds World Tour 13 October 2013 67 291
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band High Hopes Tour 1 February 2014 55 385[22]
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways World Tour 13 December 2014 46,585
One Direction On the Road Again Tour 28 & 29 March 2015 131,615

^ A The Coldplay concert was a rehearsal concert in preparation for their Mylo Xyloto Tour. As part of the concert, they filmed scenes for the music video for their song "Paradise".

Christian Gatherings

Leader Program Date Attendance
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Night of Bliss, Johannesburg, South Africa 11 March 2011 > 100 000 [24]
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Higher Life Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa 15-17 March 2013
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Night of Bliss, Johannesburg, South Africa 22 January 2016

See also


  1. http://www.worldofstadiums.com/africa/south-africa/fnb-stadium/
  2. Soccer City architect Populous
  3. Stadium Management South Africa,"FNB Stadium", stadiummanagement.co.za, June 26, 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  4. "Soccer City". FIFA. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  5. "The African Pot Takes Shape". Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  6. 1 2 2010 FIFA World Cup – Soccer City. In: fifa.com. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  7. http://www.gov.za/speeches/view.php?sid=42524
  8. "Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid icon, dies aged 95". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2013
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20090804055452/http://www.soccercity2010.co.za/news_award.asp. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. 1 2 "Soccer City is ready for play". 23 October 2009. Archived from the original on 9 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  11. "Stadia". South African Football Association. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  12. "2010 lead stadium work begins". SAinfo. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  13. "World Cup: One year to go". BBC News. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  14. "Take a seat at Soccer City". Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  15. U2 in Johannesburg - the real greatest show on earth http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2011-02-14-u2-in-johannesburg-the-real-greatest-show-on-earth
  16. Coldplay makes Joburg paradise http://mg.co.za/article/2011-10-09-coldplay-makes-joburg-paradise
  17. Kings of Leon: anything but a royal performance http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2011-10-31-kings-of-leon-anything-but-a-royal-performance
  18. Thousands attend Linkin Park concert http://ewn.co.za/2012/11/11/Thousands-attend-Linkin-Park-concert
  19. "Billboard Boxscore". Billboard. New York City, New York: Prometheus Global Media. 124 (51). 5 January 2013. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  20. Red Hot Chili Peppers electrify FNB stadium http://www.rollingstone.co.za/musicrev/item/2139-report-red-hot-chili-peppers-electrify-fnb-stadium
  21. Metallica pulls Johannesburg's strings http://www.timeslive.co.za/entertainment/music/2013/04/29/the-master-of-puppets-metallica-pulls-johannesburg-s-strings
  22. 1 2 "Billboard Box Office Score". www.billboard.com.
  23. Bieber busts Jozi ticket bank http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2012/12/11/bieber-busts-jozi-ticket-bank
  24. Night Of Bliss Johannesburg
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