There is nothing worse than an elephant in the room, right?
So let’s get it out the way before I go on. Because, if elephants are what you want to talk about, then you’re in the wrong place. Pachyderms are not up for discussion, no matter the color.
In fact, if you believe you are seeing a white elephant, consider that you may actually be seeing pink ones, and cut back on the wine already. Or is that the whine?
All righty then. Now that delusions are out of the way let’s get down to the subject of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Of course Port Elizabeth needs it. Because:
pics Sport24, HeraldLive
The old one is a mess. And it’s in a flood zone and there’s no hope, really. So mourn.
And move on.
Luckily, the World Cup came along and our city got a Stadium Reboot.
The construction of the stadium started in 2007.
pic credit The Hubs
How do I know this, you may ask? (Other than a simple Google Search?) Well. I had two babies under two in 2007 and The Hubs (also known at the father of those babies), was on the construction team. (Who worked night and day to get it done, on time, under grueling scheduling demands.)
So, y’all. Let’s support that stadium (emotionally and with our ticket purchases), because not only did we all pay for it with our municipal rates, I paid for it with my solo parenting back (aches from carrying two babies at once), sweat and tears.
For good measure, here’s a few random facts about the stadium you might not know:
1. The Lead Architect was a Woman
I know you want to see all the lovely Architectural features Can you feel the girl power?
2. The team had to learn Rope Access skills
How else were they going to build that roof?
The Hubs was thrilled. He and his colleagues learned to ascend with jumars, abseil down, and not fall off in order to inspect the roof.
3. On the subject of The Roof
The steel sections were manufactured in Kuwait (Spare a thought for the welders who welded them at temperatures that can spike at around 40C.)
The white ‘fabric’ part is made of PTFE which is an acronym for the chemical polytetrafluoroethylene. Another form of it has the trademark TEFLON. (You can store that information in your back pocket for an awkward lull in dinner party conversation.)
pics The Hubs
4. They built it a little bit like Lego (Don’t tell The Hubs I said that, see?)
The raker beams, which are staircase like concrete things
pics The Hubs; eng.prefabricatspujol.com
1. Precast, (on site at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium)
2. Lifted into place by a crane
3. Topped by risers, which are these:
4. And put together (like Lego, but not really)
5. A Vomitory isn’t about nausea
Vomitory is my favorite stadium word. It’s such an evocative word. It’s from the Latin Vomitorium, which describes an architectural feature of the Roman Amphitheatre. Today, it refers to those openings from which the crowds and the players flow out onto the stands and the field.
pic The Hubs
6. The Rugby
If you are still feeling sad about Saturday, reflect that South Africa beat New Zealand 18-5 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 20 August 2011. Since then, the Springboks have only beaten the All Blacks once, at Ellis Park.
Here’s a little video to pep you up. WRN- Tri Nations ’11- Game 5- RSAvNZL
Please remember to take note of the lovely stadium as you watch and feel better.
And don’t forget the four years of IRB 7’s hosted at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, tripling the attendance from the previous host city, before SARU moved the event to Cape Town.
And then there were The Kings in the Super Rugby tournament. I, personally, was emotionally invested and very proud of them and their efforts.
7. There isn’t a bad seat in the house
At the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium you can see from every seat. There isn’t a dodgy one in a corner where they joined an existing grandstand to another one when the Union had some money. Or a weird pole or supporting column that obstructs your view because a roof was put on after the fact. Or a safety rail that completely obstructs your view of the try line. (Sorry Newlands. I’m talking about YOU.)
Even those err, white seats (the toilets) are great. Granted, they have no view, but they have no queue either. The 2010 brigade built enough of them, even for the ladies. The misogynistic stadium builders of yesteryear who built stadia with ample men’s rooms and like, two ladies loos? What was that?
pic The Hubs
So let’s rejoice in our purpose built stadium, PE peeps. It’s a wonderful place that people of all ages, interests and backgrounds can enjoy. And let’s hope that the next time the All Blacks come to town, the Springboks achieve the same winning result.
For more info and pictures,go to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium