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EASTERN CAPE SETS TONE WITH NELSON MANDELA BAY STADIUM OPEN DAY! - published 9 Jun 2009

EASTERN CAPE SETS TONE WITH NELSON MANDELA BAY STADIUM OPEN DAY!

All eyes were focused on Nelson Mandela Bay, the Eastern Cape’s host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ yesterday (Sunday, June 7) when the very first major official event was held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in North End. The anticipation to view the stadium was clearly visible long before the gates opened just after 11:00 with queues visible from a distance.

The Open Day, held to allow residents of Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape the opportunity to experience their stadium first, is one of several test events that will be held at the stadium before the official opening later this year. In total 17 186 people used this opportunity to see the stadium from up close and to enjoy the line up of entertainers with more than 600 Safety and Security personnel deployed.

Mr Danny Jordaan, Chief Executive of the Organizing Committee, congratulated the political leadership in the Eastern Cape and the companies, responsible for delivering such an exquisite stadium, for their vision and drive.

He also impressed it on the world that it is the first time as far as he can remember that a World Cup Stadium is finished a year before the kick-off date of the tournament.

Jordaan compared it with some of the best stadia in the world and said that the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium can also be considered to be better than some of the facilities where world class international events were hosted.

With Nelson Mandela Bay being the first out of the starting blocks, it also provides the Stadium Operator and the Municipality as the owner of the facility with the added opportunity to make sure that the city is more than ready to host the world’s biggest showpiece.

Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet agreed and reiterated a statement made by the Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Nondumiso Maphazi earlier on the day that the Eastern Cape took the opportunity to show all its critics that it can deliver in time for Confederations Cup.

Several other high ranking businessmen, MECs, Councillors, Mayors from local municipalities and political officials such as Deputy Executive Mayor Bicks Ndoni and the MEC for Sport, Recreation and Culture, Ms Xoliswa Tom attended this historic event that saw a stadium being finished in record time.

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