Soccer City is Soweto’s supreme pride, drawing thousands of foreign and local visitors. (Image: Local Organising Committee)Soccer City stadium rises above Johannesburg’s skyline as a symbol of rich cultural diversity and African pride – and, thanks to some innovative partnerships, it’ll remain a tourist draw card long after the last World Cup goal is scored there.Although the post-tournament viability of the R3.4-billion (US$461-million) facility – which will host both the opening and closing matches – has been questioned recently, a steady stream of tour groups since January point to its income-generating potential over the long term.There are currently seven Soccer City guides who conduct 90-minute tours focusing on the history of the stadium and the importance of its design. Some 7 000 individuals signed up for tours in March alone.“Everything about the stadium has its significance, from its shape, its colour, the seating and the architecture,” said Soccer City guide Letlohonolo Mokone.The stadium is designed to look like the African pot, or calabash, which is used to brew beer. It rests on a raised stand that represents a pit of fire. With a capacity of 94 000, the stadium is one of the largest in Africa.“The stadium is in different shades of red, which symbolise the fire,” said Mokone. “There are glass windows around the stadium, and at night when it’s lit up you can see the proper affects. It looks like something is brewing in the African pot.”The stadium is above all a symbol of Africa and the diverse cultures that will mix during the World Cup, inside the stadium, he added.The chairs are orange, the closest shade to gold, to symbolise the area’s mineral wealth and many mines. The tunnel that joins the field to the change rooms is designed to look like a mine shaft, giving the players who run through it a feel for the history of Johannesburg, which was once called “The City of Gold”.Bringing in the bucksAfter the World Cup, Soccer City will be handed over to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, which will ensure that the facility continues to function and bring in funds.The municipality has hired a task team to supervise the process. “We will be doing ongoing tours after the World Cup and are anticipating that large numbers of people will continue to show up,” said Clifford Duffey of Stadium Management South Africa.To make the stadium and the tours more sociable and marketable, Duffey said they plan to have coffee shops and merchandise stores set up where visitors can sit and relax before and after tours or games.“We are also planning on using the auditorium, which takes 200 people, to show short videos about the history of the stadium. This will include footage on the build-up to the World Cup, which will be shown to visitors as part of the tours,” he said.Duffey said the municipality will get tenant teams to use the stadium on an ongoing basis. It’s also currently in serious talks with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to have at least 25 to 50 big games played there each year.One of the first major clashes at the stadium will be the Nedbank Cup final in May between the two top PSL teams. The league plans to sell 80 000 tickets for this game, which will be used as a test run before the World Cup kicks off in June.The name of the stadium will also be changed to National Stadium after the World Cup, Duffey said.“The stadium is an iconic structure that all South Africans can be proud of. It was not only designed for soccer, other sports – such as rugby – can be played here too.”Historical significanceSoccer City was rebuilt from the FNB stadium that was established on the outskirts of Soweto in 1987. Over the years it has witnessed some of the nation’s most poignant sporting and political triumphs, and human tragedies.In 1990 thousands of South Africans gathered there for the first public address by Nelson Mandela after his release from prison. Just years later in 1993, mourners gathered at the same place to pay their last respects to assassinated South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani.In brighter times, in 1996, the stadium hosted the African Cup of Nations, which national squad Bafana Bafana won. South Africans are hoping that the revamped site will bring the same luck to the national team 14 years on, when they face Mexico there on 11 June.
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market While maybe not as exciting as a program that aims to put music everywhere, Sonos is a household name whose products are sold in 65 countries (6,200 retailers) worldwide – that’s a big market for Rdio to tap into.We expect both MOG and Rdio, two of the best choices for U.S. users who don’t have access to the uber-popular, European-based Spotify, to become increasingly competitive in 2011, especially as the Android market grows, where iTunes is not a factor. sarah perez Two notable paid subscription streaming music services have announced partnerships and programs aimed at expanding their offerings beyond the desktop and mobile platforms where they currently reside. MOG, an on-demand service providing around 10 million songs for $10/month, has launched its MOG Fusion program, a manufacturer-focused toolkit for integrating MOG into consumer electronics and automobiles.Rdio, a similarly priced service, but one that’s more social-networking focused, has partnered with Sonos, makers of music systems for the home, to bring Rdio to the living room and elsewhere around the house.Subscription is the New Black Neither of these moves are a first for the streaming music industry. Microsoft-powered Zune is already on Xboxes and therefore in the living room, Pandora is seemingly everywhere – including vehicles equipped with Ford SYNC, and several Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs and other home media center boxes ship with built-in app stores where Pandora, Last.fm and those like them are already present. Plus, let’s not forget the powerhouses: Apple TV and its competitor Google TV, which is set to launch its own Google Music service this year, something it would likely integrate into its TV product.However, the difference between many of the streaming music services – those also called “streaming radio” services – and what MOG and Rdio provide is that the former play radio-like “stations” based on an artist or genre of music you like, while the latter offer subscription-based music where you can download songs, manage playlists and play any tune on demand at any time. MOG and Rdio aren’t all that different from the most recent incarnation of Napster, for example, the once illegal file-sharing network turned legitimate business, but neither have the clout of the Napster brand name (good or bad as that may be). They do have millions of songs, though, thanks to partnerships with the major labels.In an increasingly untethered world, mobile music is being delivered on demand, over-the-air, “all you can eat” style, not via downloads that take up physical space on a device…or worse, downloads that must be synced from a desktop to a phone by way of a USB cable.Both services fill the void the long-rumored “cloud iTunes” may one day offer. But that day has still not arrived, leaving those that want to pay for streaming music via subscription no choice but to look outside Apple’s ecosystem.So What’s New? A MOG Toolkit for ManufacturersAt the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2011), MOG has launched something called MOG Fusion, a program that includes all the necessary tools for consumer electronics or auto manufacturers to integrate MOG into their devices or cars. Fusion includes five core APIs (application programming interfaces) which provide access to MOG’s functions and features like playback, search, history, playlists, preferences and more. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… However, the service is not wide open – interested suppliers and manufacturers must first contact MOG for access to these tool. Once accepted, they’ll have access to the APIs, documentation and the other necessary info to port MOG to their products. MOG’s launch partner in Fusion is Visteon, a global automotive supplier.Rdio & Sonos Stream Music in Your HomeRdio, the company started by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, has partnered with home music system maker Sonos to bring its service to the Sonos Multi-Room Music System, which already has partnerships in place with other music services, like European (and apparently, never to be stateside) service Spotify, plus Last.fm, Pandora, Napster and others. Tags:#web Related Posts