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Wet and windy stadium will suit Germany, England

Wet and windy stadium will suit Germany, England

Germany and England may well feel at home when they play their World Cup games at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
While most World Cups are played in warm conditions, this year's tournament is happening in the middle of South Africa's winter, and the stadium, sitting next to a lake in open land outside of Port Elizabeth, might feel like Hamburg or Newcastle if the wind and rain sweep across from the sea.
Nicknamed the "Sunflower" because of its circular shape and petal-like roof design, the stadium has an impressive ring of floodlights and will hold 45,000 fans for the World Cup and stage eight games, including the third-place playoff.
The stadium was the first of the new World Cup venues to be completed _ on June 7, 2009 _ and it overlooks the North End Lake and is situated between the lake and the ocean. Although it is a 15-minute drive from the main hotels of Port Elizabeth, it is a short walk from the beaches if the weather _ as low as 9 degrees C (48 degrees F) at night _ is good enough.
Although the St. George's cricket ground is used by South Africa's test team and will host a World Cup fanfest, the city has never seen anything like the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, which has been built using 2 billion rand ($270 million) of government money. It hopes to make good use of it after the World Cup is over.
"We've never had such a stadium before for a population of 1.2 million and big events have passed us by," said Errol Heynes, the region's executive director for the 2010 World Cup. "We are hoping to be quite successful using what is a multi-use stadium for football and rugby. We have to use the entire building to generate income.
"We are hoping that we will have a Super 14 (rugby) team and a football team that might be promoted to the Premier League."
Before that, the World Cup is making plenty of use of the stadium.
The first game is between South Korea and Greece in Group B on June 12, and is followed three days later by Ivory Coast vs. Portugal in Group G. Germany will take on Serbia in Group D on June 18, Chile will meet Switzerland three days later in Group H and England will play Slovenia in Group C on June 23.
The stadium hosts a second-round match _ possibly involving host South Africa _ followed by a quarterfinal game. It will then stage the next-to-last game of the championship on July 10 before the final is played at Soccer City in Johannesburg the following day.


Updated : 2020-12-03 13:01 GMT+08:00