Blending the past and the future

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It’s a major global event – scheduled for December 2009 – which will determine who plays who during the World Cup.

The Mother City, it seems, has finally been rewarded for the turbulence it weathered with the decision to build its new multi-purpose stadium on the Atlantic Seaboard.

The decision divided residents and resulted in months of legal wrangling while the construction project has experienced delays over labour issues. But the Local Organising Committee, the City of Cape Town and project managers say the 68 000-seater semi-final venue will be ready for Fifa’s deadline.

The city’s 2010 role-players have now created an extraordinary hall of fame which seamlessly links the past and future of the Green Point Common where the old stadium has been partially demolished and the new one is being constructed a couple of hundred metres away.

A section of the old grandstand – including the old change rooms and tunnel - has been converted into the ‘Green Room’ which offers a viewing platform of the new construction site as well as photographs, paintings, murals and flags which reflect the history of the old stadium.

The idea, said provincial MEC Cameron Dugmore, is to provide a platform with a view of the history – and future – of this very important piece of real estate.

Andrew Fanton, Project Director of Murray & Roberts/WBHO said the new centre is a vehicle to provide an understanding of what ‘Team Green Point’ is trying to achieve at the coal face: “The centre is a tool for us to create enthusiasm and positive energy around the delivery of a successful 2010 World Cup.”

Over the next two years, hundreds of thousands of scholars and other interested individuals will tour the facility and experience one of the most remarkable projects undertaken on the road to 2010.

Let’s hope other host cities are looking for ways to share their World Cup progress with the public.

By Craig Urquhart

Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup Media Officer and the current editor of www.project2010.co.za

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