Johannesburg tops World Cup attendance
Saturday 10, July 2010
Despite the host team Bafana Bafana bowing out of the 2010 World Cup in the initial round, football fans are thronging stadiums and fan parks in Johannesburg.
With only a day to go until the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ comes to an end, Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium is leading the attendance race.
The spectacular stadium near the township of Soweto has reported the highest figure of 84 490 spectators for the opening match between South Africa and Mexico played on Friday, 11 June.
This figure is followed closely by the Netherlands-Denmark game on Monday, 14 June, which saw a staggering 83 465 football fans pack the 90 450-seat stadium.
According to figures released recently by FIFA, spectator numbers at Africa’s first World Cup are slightly higher than those of Germany in 2006.
Since the start of the tournament, South Africa has recorded an average of 53 019 fans per game, while Germany stood at 52 019 for the same period.
Total attendance at both Johannesburg venues - Ellis Park and Soccer City - on match days between 11 June and 1 July is 848 167. This sum is broken down as follows:
• Match 1 at Soccer City: South Africa vs Mexico - 84 490
• Match 9 at Soccer City: Netherlands vs Denmark - 83 465
• Match 14 at Ellis Park: Brazil vs Korea DPR - 54 331
• Match 20 at Soccer City: Argentina vs Korea Republic - 82 174
• Match 22 at Ellis Park: Slovenia vs USA - 45 573
• Match 29 at Soccer City: Brazil vs Cote d’lvoire - 84 455
• Match 32 at Ellis Park: Spain vs Honduras - 54 386
• Match 39 at Soccer City: Ghana vs Germany - 83 391
• Match 41 at Ellis Park: Slovakia vs Italy - 53 412
• Match 52 at Soccer City: Argentina vs Mexico - 84 377
• Match 54 at Ellis Park: Brazil vs Chile - 54 096
• Match 58 at Soccer City: Uruguay vs Ghana - 84 017
To date South Africans have bought over 1.25 million tickets for the tournament. Of the visiting countries, the United States showed the strongest support, with approximately 135 000 tickets sold.
British fans snapped up around 100 000 tickets, hoping that England will win the prestigious trophy which has eluded them since 1966.
Australia came in third with 45 000 tickets bought by excited fans looking forward to their country’s second successive World Cup appearance.
FIFA Fan Fest™ line up
As of Saturday 3 July, more than 2 million people had visited the 10 FIFA Fan Fests™ around the country since the tournament kicked off.
Durban had the highest attendance figure with 80 087, followed by Cape Town with 41 917 and Soweto’s Elkah Stadium with 20 732.
Surprisingly, the best attendances have been recorded on days when Bafana Bafana was not playing.
2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan urged South Africans to continue visiting the FIFA Fan Fests as the tournament reaches its peak.
“There are only four matches left until the end of the World Cup. If you have not done so already, now is your opportunity to visit the Fan Fests and experience their unique atmosphere. Go out and meet new friends and be part of the worldwide celebration,” said Jordaan.
He added that while more than 80 000 people will witness history on the final day of the tournament at Soccer City, those visiting FIFA Fan Fests and public viewing areas will make history.
The final match of the 2010 World Cup will take place at Soccer City on Sunday 11 July.
Keeping fans happy
Organisers at the various FIFA Fan Fests across the city have lined up a variety of top-class entertainment to keep fans happy before and after matches.
Performers such as Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Oliver Mtukudzi and the Soweto Gospel Choir will entertain spectators at Fan Fests across the city.
On the day of the final, Sunday, 11 July, Elkah Stadium is the place to be. Here, HHP, Baaba Maaal, Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Oliver Mtukudzi, the Soweto Gospel Choir and Mingas will keep crowds entertained. On the same day, Emza will entertain fans across town at Innesfree Park.
The closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup is expected to take place at 6.30pm, with the final match kicking off at 8.30pm.
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