HISTORY will be made next Sunday when Durban's state-of-the-art 2010 Soccer World Cup Moses Mabhida Stadium opens its gates to host its first official match - the derby between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for soccer lovers to book themselves a place in the history books," said eThekwini head of strategic projects unit and 2010 programme Julie-May Ellingson.
"We want this to be a family-oriented event. This is something you're going to want to tell your grandchildren about and your children are going to want to tell their grandchildren about," she said.
This was echoed by AmaZulu public relations officer Philani Mabaso.
"Given our rich history and our long-time involvement with Durban, we are proud to be part of this event." he said.
"We will be playing on the same ground that will see some of the best footballers work their magic during the World Cup."
There are no seats further than 140m from the pitch. Tickets are limited and only 22000 are available at Computicket and Shoprite Checkers.
Ellingson urged ticket-holders to read their tickets closely.
Moses Mabhida Stadium will not follow the "sit anywhere" policy common at many local venues. Each seating sector is colour-coded and divided into numbered blocks.
"Your ticket will tell you in what sector and what block you will be seated. The bottom section of your ticket will show you the sector colour and the block number where you will be seated.
"Friends who might be buying their tickets separately and want to sit together must ensure they all buy tickets in the same sector and block.
"We understand this practice might be unfamiliar to many fans, so there will be plenty of ushers on hand to guide ticket-holders to their seats," she said.
Although the stadium is owned by Safa, it would be run by the municipality, Ellingson said.
It has been designed in such a way that it will house and cater for a variety of sporting activities - such as rugby, cricket and athletics.
It also includes an adjoining indoor arena, a football museum, sports institute and a transport station.
"The stadium is not planned to be a white elephant, and is also set to be a flexibly operating facility since it will operate seven days a week and 365 days a year, unlike other stadiums post the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
"For local matches, it would be decreased to 54000 seats and can be up-scaled to 80000 for events such as the Olympics," she said.