June 30, 2011
Cape Town Stadium – A Cape Town Tourism Photo Essay
I was fortunate enough to act as a tour guide for a colleague and friend who had yet to attend an event at the Cape Town Stadium. Here is what he had to say:
“My Cape Town Stadium experience was extremely exhilarating. I parked in town and marched with the Ajax faithful through an upbeat and jovial city to the beautiful stadium where the crowd was well controlled and ticket collection was efficient. The bus ride back was slightly sombre due to the negative result, but it was an altogether pleasant experience.”
The Fan Walk crowd started buzzing well before the match, and memories of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ flooded back, in particular the match between Germany and Argentina, which saw a record crowd on the walk in glorious weather. At the same time, however, I was reminded of the need for Capetonians to collectively formulate a vision for this magnetic route, which was still lacking one year after the Word Cup.
For many, the match-day experience at Cape Town Stadium really started at the train stations as far off as Kapteinsklip. They arrived at Cape Town Station and chose to use the Fan Walk to the stadium, even though our world-class MyCiTi bus system was operating on the day. Capetonians from all corners of the city, including entire families, descended on the stadium to support Ajax Cape Town and help them lift the PSL trophy. While the end result was devastating with Orlando Pirates being handed the PSL crown, the 30 000-strong crowd provided an incredible and electric atmosphere, comparable to that of a crowd of 60 000.
I was once again reminded of the power of Cape Town Stadium to really draw people from across Cape Town to an event, in the process building a more inclusive and united city.
Dr Laurine Platzky was surely ahead of the times in 2007, in her Cape Argus article, entitled “Towards 2010: Green Point can draw us all together”, where she anticipated the ability of the new stadium site to unite Capetonians rather than divide, as was a common thought at the time.
We decided to use the MyCiTi bus system after the match. Perhaps we were just lazy or perhaps the defeat was weighing heavily on our shoulders as we stepped on to a packed bus of fans. “Bonteheuwel, driver!” proclaimed one of the passengers as we left the station. The 100-plus passengers on the bus broke out in laughter. In 10 years’ time, the bus may very well go to Bonteheuwel. In the words of Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, managing director of the Cape Town Partnership, our public transport journey has only just begun.
There is no other match-day experience in South Africa like the one at Cape Town Stadium. With some imagination and the correct zoning, Cape Town Stadium will become an asset to the city in more ways than one.
Rashiq Fataar is the founder of Future Cape Town, a social media movement aimed at inspiring citizens and stimulating debate about the city today and into the future. What makes Cape Town a liveable city now and what should be done to unlock its potential as a progressive city of the future? Encouraging citizens to activate their opinions, Future Cape Town is fast becoming a united voice that represents the aspirations of the next generation
A proud Capetonian, Rashiq is interested in urban development, inspirational spaces and exploring the world - its people, landscapes and the next best urban ideas. He also holds an Actuarial Science degree from the University of Cape Town, with additional majors in Economics and Finance.
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Images © Future Cape Town