Located right in the heart of Johannesburg, the Ellis Park stadium is one that’s already marked out in sporting history after South Africa’s late, late triumph over New Zealand in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. More recently it hosted the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup where Brazil overcame the USA, having been expanded with additional seating in time for that final and in preparation for this World Cup.

The reward for this hard working stadium is being able to host all of Argentina, Spain, Brazil and Italy in group games as well as a second round clash and a quarter-final. Argentina vs Nigeria in particular should be a good match up and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should give Brazil ample time and space to dance merry rings about them.

Built in 1928 and named after the councillor who approved its construction, it’s the home of Orlando Pirates FC, who will benefit from the upgrade and facelift after the tournament leaves town.




City: Johannesburg

Construction: Upgraded

Complete: 2009

Official Capacity: 61,639



The Locale : The District

Home to 8 million people, Johannesburg is a sprawling urban metropolis with a melting pot of cultures and the only city in South Africa to have two separate World Cup venues, the other, Soccer City, is home to the final.

Located in the Gauteng province, this is South Africa’s smallest region, accounting for just 2% of it’s landmass and yet generating 40% of its GDP, mostly thanks to gold. Indeed, Johannesburg’s growth on the back of this 130-year gold rush has made it the richest metropolis in the whole of Africa.

Whilst the local area is noteworthy, Johannesburg itself is so full of cultural sights and attractions that the World Cup visitor will find more than enough to fill their time between matches.

With excellent nightlife, great restaurants, a sophisticated vibe and plenty to do and see, it’s the perfect city break on your trip to South Africa.



Local Sights to See: If you’re going to the stadium you should check out…

If you’re in Johannesburg it’s hard to see a good reason why you wouldn’t be visiting the South Africa Breweries World of Beer. A ninety minute tour will take you through 6,000 years of beer brewing history and at the end of it you can sit down and enjoy an ice cold brew of your choice in their cleverly incorporated bar.

Just a couple of kilometres from the stadium, it’s in the Newtown district which features plenty of other sights, attractions and restaurants for afters.



Things to avoid

Johannesburg is not a safe city. Muggings and car jacking are all too common and combined with the large number of illegally owned guns it’s easy to see how things can get heated.

A large police presence will be on the streets during the World Cup and additional security measures have already been introduced such as CCTV cameras in likely crime spots, but in such a large city it’s inevitable they’ll only have limited success. Factor in too the sheer number of visitors from abroad and even a very small percentage encountering trouble can quickly add up.

Take all local advice and heed it. Certain areas, such as Berea and Hillbrow, are simply no-go at present and this extends further once the sun goes down. Keep a minimum of cash on you, stay alert and try not to stand on street corners, reading a map with your bag open on your side, a camera round your neck and a wallet full of cash bulging your back pocket.




Games to be played there:

June 12th: Group BArgentina vs Nigeria

June 15th: Group G Brazil vs Korea DPR

June 18th: Group CSlovenia vs USA

June 21st: Group HSpain vs Honduras

June 24th: Group FSlovakia vs Italy

June 28th: Round of 16  Winner of Group G vs Runner-up Group H

July 3rd: Quarter-final