First National Bank Stadium or simply FNB Stadium (Afrikaans: ENB-stadion), also known as Soccer City (Afrikaans: Sokkerstad) and The Calabash, is an association football (soccer) and Rugby union stadium located in Nasrec, bordering the Soweto area of Johannesburg, South Africa. The venue is managed by Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA)[4] and is a home of Kaizer Chiefs F.C. in the South African Premier Soccer League as well as key fixtures for the South African national football team.

FNB Stadium
Soccer City, The Calabash
FNB Stadium 2014-11-08.jpg
FNB Stadium exterior, June 2010
Full nameFNB Stadium
Former namesSoccer City (2010)
LocationStadium Avenue, Nasrec, Johannesburg, South Africa
OwnerCity of Johannesburg
OperatorStadium Management South Africa
Executive suites195
Record attendance94,807 (Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates, 1 August 2015)[2][3]
Field size105 x 68 m
Broke ground1986
Construction costZAR 3.3 billion
(US$440 million)
ArchitectBoogertman & Partners, HOK Sport (now Populous)[1]
BuilderGrinaker-LTA/ BAM International
Structural engineerSchlaich Bergermann & Partner
Kaizer Chiefs
South Africa national football team
South Africa national rugby union team

It is located next to the South African Football Association headquarters (SAFA House) where both the FIFA offices and the Local Organising Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were housed.[5] Designed as the main association football stadium for the World Cup, the FNB Stadium became the largest stadium in Africa with a capacity of 94,736. However, its maximum capacity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup was 84,490 due to reserved seating for the press and other VIPs. The stadium is also known by its nickname "The Calabash" due to its resemblance to the African pot[6] or gourd.

It was the site of Nelson Mandela's first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison in 1990, and served as the venue for a memorial service to him on 10 December 2013.[7][8] It was also the site of Chris Hani's funeral.[7] It was also the venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, which was played by the Netherlands and Spain. The World Cup closing ceremony on the day of the final saw the final public appearance of Mandela.[9]

Naming historyEdit

The stadium has been officially known as FNB Stadium since it was opened in 1989. This was due to a naming rights deal with First National Bank. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as in the month before the tournament, the stadium was referred to as Soccer City. This was done as FIFA does not allow stadiums to be referred to by sponsored names during FIFA-sanctioned tournaments. The stadium's current name is FNB Stadium.


Built in 1987, the stadium underwent a major upgrade for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with a new design inspired by the shape of an African pot, the calabash.[10][11] The South African main contractor GLTA, part of the Aveng Group in a joint venture with the Dutch company BAM who had a 25% stake, constructed the upgrade, which was designed by HOK Sport (now known as Populous) and Boogertman + Partners. The upgrade included: an extended upper tier around the stadium to increase the capacity to 88,958,[12] an additional two executive suites, an encircling roof, new changing room facilities and new floodlights. The number of suites in the stadium was increased to 195. Grinaker-LTA and BAM international won the R1.5 billion[13] tender to upgrade the stadium.[14] The construction was completed on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 and was marked by a huge celebration at the stadium.[12]

Stadium designEdit

Inside the FNB stadium

The outside of the stadium is designed to have the appearance of an African pot; the cladding on the outside is a mosaic of fire and earthen colours with a ring of lights running around the bottom of the structure, simulating fire underneath the pot. No spectator is seated more than 100 metres (330 ft) from the field, and there are no restricted views in the stadium.[15]

The stands in the FNB Stadium are articulated by ten black vertical lines; nine are aligned geographically with the nine other stadiums involved in the 2010 World Cup. Because 9 is considered to be an unlucky number in South African traditional culture,[citation needed] a tenth line was added. This tenth line is aimed at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, which hosted the previous World Cup final in 2006. This represents the road to the final and it is hoped that after the World Cup, each goal scored at the stadium will be placed in pre-cast concrete panels on a podium so that the full history of the tournament's scores can be seen for years to come.[16]

Before the upgradeEdit

FNB Stadium prior to the renovation. 2005.

Before the upgrade, the stadium had a capacity of 40,000. The newly reconstructed stadium retains part of the original structure's west upper tier, although this and the entire lower tier were rebuilt to improve sightlines. The lower tier was completely reconstructed and divided into two segments which enabled the creation of a new lower concourse (the lower embankment concourse) linked to the existing ground level concourse.

Major tournamentsEdit

1996 African Cup of NationsEdit

FNB Stadium served as the main venue for the tournament. It hosted the opening game, 5 other group games, a quarter final, a semi final, the 3rd place play-off and the final. The games were:

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
13 January 1996   South Africa 3–0   Cameroon Group A (opening match) 80,000
15 January 1996   Egypt 2–1   Angola Group A 6,000
18 January 1996   Cameroon 2–1   Egypt 4,000
20 January 1996   South Africa 1–0   Angola 30,000
24 January 1996 0–1   Egypt 20,000
25 January 1996   Zaire 2–0   Liberia Group C 3,000
27 January 1996   South Africa 2–1   Algeria Quarter-finals 80,000
31 January 1996 3–0   Ghana Semi-finals 80,000
3 February 1996   Ghana 0–1   Zambia Third place match 80,000
3 February 1996   South Africa 2–0   Tunisia Final 80,000

2010 FIFA World CupEdit

The stadium hosted the opening ceremony followed by the opening match between South Africa and Mexico, 4 other group stage matches, a Round of 16 match, a quarter-final and the final.

Date Time (UTC+02) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
11 June 2010 16:00   South Africa 1–1   Mexico Group A (opening match) 84,490
14 June 2010 13:30   Netherlands 2–0   Denmark Group E 83,465
17 June 2010 13:30   Argentina 4–1   South Korea Group B 82,174
20 June 2010 20:30   Brazil 3–1   Ivory Coast Group G 84,455
23 June 2010 20:30   Ghana 0–1   Germany Group D 83,391
27 June 2010 20:30   Argentina 3–1   Mexico Round of 16 84,377
2 July 2010 20:30   Uruguay 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(4–2 pen.)
  Ghana Quarter-finals 84,017
11 July 2010 20.30   Netherlands 0–1 (a.e.t)   Spain Final 84,490

2013 African Cup of NationsEdit

FNB Stadium served as a venue for the tournament. It hosted the opening game, one group game and the final. The games were:

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
19 January 2013   South Africa 0–0   Cape Verde Group A (opening match) 50,000
19 January 2013   Angola 0–0   Morocco Group A 25,000
10 February 2013   Nigeria 1–0   Burkina Faso Final 85,000



International footballEdit

FNB stadium has been used by the South African national football team for both friendlies and qualification matches. It was seen as the de facto national stadium for Bafana Bafana after re-admission in 1992, who played their third ever international match there on 11 July 1992 where they drew 2–2 with Cameroon courtesy of goals from Phil and Bennett Masinga for South Africa in front of 65,000 supporters. The "old" FNB Stadium also housed the then South African Football Association (SAFA) headquarters as well as the offices of the semi-professional National Soccer League (which later traded as the professional Premier Soccer League).

Uruguay vs. Ghana at the FNB Stadium, 2 July 2010

The stadium has also hosted large continental club fixtures. It is largely remembered as the venue where Bafana Bafana lifted the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations when they beat Tunisia 2–0 in front of a full capacity in a match witnessed by then South African president, Nelson Mandela, his then deputy president and former South African State President, FW de Klerk, as well as Zulu monarch, King Zwelithini. The South African national football team also won their first ever trophy here when they lifted the Simba Four Nations Cup in 1995, in a competition featuring Egypt, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The venue for the first leg of the 1995 African Cup of Champions Clubs final, between Orlando Pirates and ASEC Abidjan. The stadium has also hosted the CAF Super Cup twice. It hosted the 1994 CAF Super Cup, between Zamalek and Al-Ahly, as well as the 1996 CAF Super Cup between Orlando Pirates and JS Kabylie. In 2004, the stadium hosted final of the Vodacom Challenge, between AS Vita Club and Kaizer Chiefs.

Some of the most memorable Bafana Bafana matches at the venue include the narrow 3–2 defeat to Brazil in 1996 as well as the country's memorable triumph when they secured passage through to a first ever World Cup appearance for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France when they beat Republic of Congo 1-0 through a Phil Masinga strike in 1997.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, one of the most entertaining matches was played here in the quarterfinal stages when Uruguay beat Ghana in a penalty shootout made more memorable by a blatant handball in the last minute of the extra time by Uruguay striker Luis Suárez, which denied a Ghana and Africa a first ever semifinal appearance at the world soccer showpiece.

Local footballEdit

The FNB Stadium is home to Kaizer Chiefs Football Club. It is also the preferred venue for the Soweto derby soccer matches – the country's biggest sporting showpiece – involving Soweto based Premier Soccer League clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. It was also the traditional home of the Iwisa Maize Meal Spectacular and later, the Telkom Charity Cup, which were charity soccer season openers in South African football from 1990 to 2006, before it was closed for renovations. The stadium was re-opened when it hosted the 2010 Nedbank Cup final between Bidvest Wits and Amazulu. The game ending 3–0 to Bidvest Wits. Fabricio Rodrigues was the first player to score at the rebuilt Soccer City. The Charity Cup then returned in 2010. The first league match at the stadium since being rebuilt, was a 2010–11 Premier Soccer League match between Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars. The first MTN 8 match at the stadium was the first leg of the 2010 MTN 8 semifinal, between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The venue has also hosted high-profile Bafana Bafana matches, including their 1–0 win over Spain in 2013 as well as the side's worst ever defeat when they lost 5–0 to Brazil in another international friendly in 2014.

In May 2018, Mamelodi Sundowns hosted FC Barcelona in an exhibition match, dedicated to the late Former President of South Africa in his centenary. The match ended 3–1 in the favour of Barcelona.


FNB stadium is a multi-purpose venue and hosted its first rugby union match in 2010, the Tri Nations match between South Africa and New Zealand, won by the latter. The attendance was 94,713 which is listed as the third highest rugby attendance ever in the Southern Hemisphere and a record attendance for the redeveloped stadium, until it was eclipsed on 1 August 2015, when 94,807 was recorded when Orlando Pirates played Kaizer Chiefs in the Carling Black Label Cup fixture. The stadium hosted New Zealand again in the 2012 Rugby Championship on 6 October, with the All Blacks defeating the Springboks 32–16 in front of 88,739. In 2013, the Springboks defeated Argentina 73–13 at FNB Stadium in front of a crowd 52,867. In 2016, the venue hosted Varsity Cup rugby fixtures.


Band/artist Tour Date Attendance
U2 U2 360° Tour 13 February 2011 94,232[18]
Neil Diamond Concert Tour 2011 2 April 2011
Coldplay Mylo Xyloto Tour 8 October 2011[A] 62,000[19]
Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown World Tour 29 October 2011 60,000[20]
The Eagles[21] World Tour 2012 8 April 2012 50,000?
Linkin Park Living Things World Tour 10 November 2012 63,000[22]
Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball 30 November 2012 56,900[23]
Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With You World Tour 2 February 2013 65,000[24]
Metallica 2013 Vacation Tour 27 April 2013 40,000[25]
Bon Jovi Because We Can - The Tour 11 May 2013 65,182[26]
Justin Bieber Believe Tour 12 May 2013 67,000[27]
Rihanna Diamonds World Tour 13 October 2013 67,291
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band High Hopes Tour 1 February 2014 55,385[26]
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways World Tour 13 December 2014 46,585
One Direction On the Road Again Tour 28 & 29 March 2015 131,615
Justin Bieber Purpose World Tour 14 May 2017 70,000
Cassper Nyovest Fill Up FNB 2 December 2017 68,000[28]
Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 29 November 2018 52,042[29]
The Carters, Ed Sheeran, Cassper Nyovest, Chris Martin, Usher, Pharrell Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival 2 December 2018[B] 100,000[30]
Ed Sheeran ÷ Tour 23 & 24 March 2019 135,000
Imagine Dragons Mercury World Tour 4 February 2023

^ A The Coldplay concert was a rehearsal concert in preparation for their Mylo Xyloto Tour. As part of the concert, they filmed scenes for the music video for their song "Paradise".

^ B Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin, Pharrell Williams, Usher, and others also performed during the festival headlined by Beyoncé & Jay Z.

Christian gatheringsEdit

Leader Program Date Attendance
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Night of Bliss, Johannesburg, South Africa 11 March 2011 > 100,000[31]
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Higher Life Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa 15-17 March 2013
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Night of Bliss, Johannesburg, South Africa 22 January 2016
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri Night of Angel Gabriel, Johannesburg, South Africa 1 January 2018 >100,000


On 29 July 2017, two people were killed and 17 were injured in a stadium crush while trying to enter the stadium before a match between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.[32]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Soccer City – POPULOUS". Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  2. ^ "2015 Carling Black Label Cup"
  3. ^ "Carling Black Label Cup Soweto Derby breaks FNB Stadium attendance record"
  4. ^ Stadium Management South Africa,"FNB Stadium",, 26 June 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  5. ^ "Soccer City". FIFA. Archived from the original on 17 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  6. ^ "The African Pot Takes Shape". Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  7. ^ a b 2010 FIFA World Cup – Soccer City. In: Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  8. ^ "Minister collins chabane: Nelson mandela state funeral update". Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid icon, dies aged 95". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2013
  10. ^ "Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg: World Cup 2010 stadium guide". The Daily Telegraph. 19 November 2009. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  11. ^ "News Award". Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Soccer City is ready for play". 23 October 2009. Archived from the original on 9 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  13. ^ "Stadia". South African Football Association. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  14. ^ "2010 lead stadium work begins". SAinfo. 18 January 2007. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  15. ^ "World Cup: One year to go". BBC News. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
  16. ^ "Take a seat at Soccer City". Archived from the original on 19 April 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  17. ^ Godwin, Hugh (1 February 2022). "Lions vs South Africa fixtures 2021: Why all three Tests will now take place in Cape Town".
  18. ^ Charalambous, Styli (14 February 2011). "U2 in Johannesburg – the real greatest show on earth". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Coldplay makes Jo'burg Paradise". The Mail & Guardian. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  20. ^ Charalambous, Styli (31 October 2011). "Kings of Leon: anything but a royal performance". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  21. ^ "EAGLES TO PERFORM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SOUTH AFRICA | Facebook". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  22. ^ Wyk, Andrea van. "Thousands attend Linkin Park concert". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Billboard Boxscore". Billboard. Vol. 124, no. 51. New York City, New York. 5 January 2013. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  24. ^ "Report: Red Hot Chili Peppers Electrify FNB Stadium". Rolling Stone South Africa. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  25. ^ "TimesLIVE". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Billboard Box Office Score". Billboard.
  27. ^ "Bieber busts Jozi ticket bank". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  28. ^ "#FillUpFNBStadium done, Cassper sets sights on Durban – Sunday Tribune". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  29. ^ "SNAPS | Guns N' Roses rock Jozi in first ever South African show". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  30. ^ Pitjeng, Refilwe. "How to get tickets to Global Citizen Festival". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  31. ^ Night of Bliss Johannesburg
  32. ^ Bonn, Kyle (29 July 2017). "Two killed in South Africa stadium crush". ProSoccerTalk. Retrieved 29 July 2017.

External linksEdit

Events and tenants
Preceded by African Cup of Nations
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Opening Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by African Cup of Nations
Final venue

Succeeded by