Last week on my trip to Durban I got to visit and tour the new Moses Mabhida Stadium. The 70,000 seater (54,000 seater after the World Cup) stadium’s iconic design has made it one of the most admired of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadia and has created an unmistakable silhouette on the Durban skyline.
The stadium’s most unique feature is its 106m high grand arch. It represented the unity of a sport-loving nation and was inspired by the South African flag. The two legs of the arch on the southern side of the stadium, come together to form a single footing on the northern side, symbolizing the uniting of a once-divided nation. The arch isn’t just feature. It has a cable car which takes visitors up to its highest point from where they can get out and enjoy breathtaking, panoramic views of the city and ocean. Unfortunately on our visit there wasn’t time to do the trip as the bus was waiting for us.
The roof is made of 46,000m2 of Teflon-coated glass fibre membranes, which produces a translucent glow when the stadium is lit. The roof is attached to the arch by 95mm-diameter steel cables. The seats at the bottom of the stadium are shades of blue representing the ocean while those at the top are shades of orange to represent an African sunset. The reason for the seats all being different colours is for the stadium to always have an illusion of being full, even when its not.
For me the best view of the stadium was from its southern end. The perfectly symmetrical shape made for an awesome photo. I did see the stadium at night as I drove past, but it would have been awesome seeing it fully lit.