World Cup 2010

Living in a World Cup 2010 host city, with fifteen 2010 World Cup matches - out of a total of 64 - including the Opening game and the Final, is like being 10 years old again, and expecting Santa to walk through the door!

Add to that the five matches in Pretoria as well as the five matches in Rustenburg - which are both within a relatively short drive - and Johannesburg becomes the epicentre of the tournament!

Two stadia will host the World Cup 2010 games in Johannesburg.

Soccer City, which is 10kms. south west of the city centre and accommodates 94,000 spectators, and .....

..... the renamed Coca Cola Park (actually the Ellis Park stadium, where South Africa won the 1995 Rugby World Cup), which seats 61,000 fans, and is 4kms. east of the city centre.

work on Johannesburg's 2010 World Cup final stadium, Soccer City, nears completion
Work on Johannesburg's 2010 World Cup Final stadium, Soccer City, nears completion

There are two FIFA ticketing centres in Johannesburg, where you can both collect those tickets you've bought online, and buy what's left of available tickets, over the counter.

If you're not going to be able to get to a World Cup 2010 match, FIFA have set up two of their Fan Fests or fan parks, in the city.

There will be joy, as well as heartache, for some spectators, and restaurants and pubs are going to be popular places where you could celebrate that victory, or drown the memory of that loss, after the game!

If you need a place to stay, you might not be able to be too picky for June, but there is still a lot of accommodation available for July.

Avoid FIFA and their overpriced booking system, and rather deal with these 32 Johannesburg guest houses directly.

Due to strict security, you won't be able to get close to a stadium with a vehicle, but various transport options have been organised for those going to a game.

The stadia, the ticketing centres, the fan parks and the transport centres, have all been placemarked on this map of Johannesburg.

This will be the first time that the tournament will be hosted by an African country, but will unfortunately also be the first time the finals have been held during a winter!!

Workers take a break whilst adding the finishing touches to the Coca Cola Park Stadium
Workers take a break whilst adding the finishing touches to the Coca Cola Park Stadium

Jo’burg can also get bitterly cold at this time of the year, but when I mentioned my disappointment in this regard to a friend in Germany, he said "…what do you mean cold? It’ll be like a European summer!!"

Night temperatures in winter, due to Johannesburg’s altitude of 1,750 M (5,750 ft), often drop to below freezing.

Numerous teams have chosen to make Jo'burg their base, to help them get acclimatised to the altitude, and it'll be interesting to see what effect the thin air has on their footballing skills!?

This might be Africa, but don’t forget to pack your thick winter woolies and your moisturising creams!

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