Work on Cape Town’s new Green Point Stadium is on track for handover by the contractors, a consortium of Murray and Roberts and WBHO, to the City of Cape Town in December 2009. Construction started in March 2007 – a little over two years ago. Major concrete work has been completed, with only finishes remaining. These include seating, lighting, cabling, VIP suites, external cladding, media facilities, IT and so on.
Construction of the roof is progressing well and is scheduled for completion in September this year. Both the inner tension ring and outer compression ring for the roof are up, and installation of the steel roof trusses is almost half complete.
The stadium is about 70% complete at this stage.
The first panels of the glass roofing have been installed. Special design features of the roof include its downward slope angle from the upper stadium perimeter to the inner tension ring, making it invisible from the outside, and the pitch lighting which will be attached to the inner tension ring.
This enables the design to meet strict environmental constraints, as the roof and stadium lighting will not be visible except from the mountaintops. The structure is designed to minimise noise and disturbance in the surrounding areas.
In all, over 2 500 workers have been employed so far on the project which is estimated to cost R4.5 billion of which over R1 billion is site-specific costs (shallow bedrock which provides a firm foundation, but increases above ground costs, seismic protection features and strict environmental and noise mitigation construction features).
The architectural design is the product of Robert Hormes, who works for the German firm GMP Architects, in association with local architects Louis Karol and Point.
Coupled with the construction of the stadium is an extensive upgrading of the 85ha Green Point Common to accommodate several sporting codes and public recreational areas. Water from the stadium roof will be used to fill ponds on the common. This work is well underway and scheduled for completion in March 2010 at the latest.
After the World Cup, the stadium’s seating will be reduced from 68 000 - the number of seats stipulated by Fifa - to 55 000, the optimal number for a stadium of this type. While the contract has not yet been signed, the preferred stadium operators are a consortium of Stade de France, which operates a successful stadium in Paris, and the South African sports marketing company SAIL.
The lease will operate for between 10 and 30 years, during which time the operators will pay the City a 30% of earnings before tax. It is expected that the stadium will become a multi-purpose stadium hosting many different events, including concerts, religious gatherings, and possibly rugby and other sports.
During the construction process, only two hours of work have been lost through electricity load-shedding. In the early stages, 6.5 days were lost due to industrial action.
One fatality has occurred on the work site adjacent to the stadium bowl when a sub-contractor’s employee landed under a construction vehicle.