Long time readers of Relax with Dax will know that I have been very anti the stadium being built in Greenpoint. I posted about this in April 2007 and there were some very interesting responses. I know I wasn’t alone in my viewpoint. However, the stadium in Greenpoint is now a fait accompli and we have the choice to sit and grumble about it for the rest of our lives or we can accept it and make the most of it. I will admit that sitting around grumbling for the rest of my life is quite appealing, that’s just the way I am. But having said that, I know it’s not the better of the two options, so I’ve decided to accept and embrace.
So when I saw that the stadium has a visitors centre which offers tours and presentations on the stadium, I knew I had to go and find out what’s going on there. I attended one of a series of lectures about different aspects of the stadium. Before the lecture we were taken into the stadium (after donning hard hats and safety vests and signing a form). There we were told a little about the building process, what they were busy with and what the various parts of the stadium were. We could ask questions and they were quite well answered as the tour guides were actually involved in the project at a high level. They pointed out several features of the stadium which were later elaborated on in the lecture.
After the tour, we returned to the visitors centre for the lecture. The lecture room is set up as a mini replica of a stand in a soccer stadium with a big screen for the presentation. We were actually treated to two lectures which were both very interesting. The first one was given by someone who was involved with locating the stadium and he took us through the process of locating the stadium and developing the concept for the areas around it. A lot of thought has gone into making a visit to the stadium an experience, rather than just a visit. The designers have learnt lessons and taken ideas from other stadiums around the world.
The second presentation was on the green area surrounding the stadium. I never realised just how big that area is. Apart from the stadium, there will be an athletics track, sport fields, a nine hole golf course as well as the Wyngard Fort, a community park and an eco village. They are obviously concerned that the area might not be used so they are going to great efforts to ensure it caters to a wide range of people and that it is accessible and safe. There will be a pedestrian walkway from the Mouille Point lighthouse all the way to the Greenpoint circle. The park will have various areas which will allow for different activities and even different garden styles. They are hoping to have a play park with special equipment for disabled kids. There were many more things which were presented, too much for me to remember.
After seeing the two presentations, I am convinced that the stadium and green areas around it will be world class. I look forward to seeing the completed project and I am sure I will be proud to show it to visitors to our beautiful city.
The website for the visitor centre is still under construction, but it does have contact details (021 430 0410). The tour details are as follows (note the major difference highlighted in red):
Magic Tour – 60 Mins – R40
– 35 min play on the history of Greenpoint Common
– A virtual mini tour of the stadium
– A guided view of the stadium from the viewing deck
10am: Mon – Sat
2pm: Mon – Fri
Stadium Walk – 45 Mins – R100
– 10 min documentary on design, construction & planning of the stadium
– Virtual mini tour of the stadium
– A guided site walk
5:15pm: Mon – Fri