[WORLD CUP 2010 DRAW]
Teams will be anxiously waiting to see not only whom they will play at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but also where they will play. For players and fans alike, South Africa 2010 will
present unique challenges because of the distances between venues, its diverse climate and differences in elevation. A city to avoid?
The smallest World Cup venue with a population of
only 140,000, Polokwane presents all sorts of challenges.
First of all, its location. Bordering Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Polokwane is the most isolated of the nine World Cup
venues. It's three and a half hours by car from Johannesburg and 17 and a half hours by car from Cape Town (teams A4 and C3 will have to make the Cape Town-Polokwane or Polokwane-Cape Town trek
for back-to-back games).
Polokwane is located at 4,300 feet above sea level, making it one of five venues located at about 4,000 or more feet above sea level. (Johannesburg,
Rustenburg, Mangaung/Bloemfontein and Tshwane/Pretoria are the others.)
Finally, Polokwane has some of the coldest winter temperatures, reaching as low as 40 degrees in winter (our
summer is the Southern Hemisphere's winter).
Polokwane will host four first-round games. Because of the lack of accommodations, many fans will have to arrive on game day from
The city has an unemployment rate of 41 percent, and the government has spent more than $400 million on the construction of 45,000-seat Peter Mokaba Stadium and
Tshwane/Pretoria, Mangaung/Bloemfontein and Polokwane should be the coldest venues, though temperatures can also approach freezing at night in Johannesburg.
Located in the foothills of the Magaliesburg mountains near tourist destination Sun City, Rustenburg is the other high-altitude venue, though its temperatures are usually milder.
Located near Mozambique and Swaziland and the gateway to the Kruger game park, Nelspruit is the second smallest World Cup venue after Polokwane.
The other three venues are all
located on the coast: Cape Town, site of Friday's World Cup draw, Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth.
WORLD CUP 2010 VENUES (by altitude): Johannesburg
(Soccer City; capacity: 94,700)
altitude: 5,750 Johannesburg
(Ellis Park; capacity: 61,000)
altitude: 5,750 Rustenburg
(Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; capacity: 42,000)
altitude: 4,920 feet Mangaung/Bloemfontein
State Stadium; capacity: 48,000)
altitude: 4,600 feet Polokwane
(Peter Mokaba Stadium; capacity: 45,000)
altitude: 4,300 feet Tshwane/Pretoria
(Loftus Versfeld Stadium; capacity: 50,000)
altitude: 3,980 feet Nelspruit
altitude: 2,165 feet Cape Town
(Green Point; capacity: 70,000)
altitude: sea level Durban
(Moses Mabhida Stadium: 70,000)
altitude: sea level Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth
(Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium; capacity:
altitude: sea level