A double premiere: until the soccer World Cup made its debut in Africa, the South African city of Port Elizabeth had never actually had a football stadium. A modern, multifunctional arena encompassing five tiers and about 48,000 seats was built for the occasion close to the seafront in Nelson Mandela Bay, a popular aquatic sports region. The stadium is equipped with 150 VIP boxes, 60 business boxes, a gymnasium and numerous seminar and functional rooms. As an affiliated company of Interbeton, BAM Sports contributed its stadium expertise and supported the Interbeton/Grinaker LTA consortium.
The roof had to meet a whole series of special requirements owing to its proximity to the sea and the frequent strong winds. It features a distinctive pattern of ribs and hollows clad with a resilient fibreglass membrane. The almost organic look quickly earned the stadium the nickname “The Sunflower”. Not only five group games in the 2010 World Cup but also a quarter-final and the play-off for third place were staged in this fantastic setting.