Celtic-Bucs to reopen free state stadium

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The City of Mangaung Municipality plans a massive gumba to celebrate the reopening of the Free State Stadium for the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

The ceremony is expected to include an intriguing Absa Premiership match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates on April 4.

George Mohlakoana, the municipality's World Cup chief executive officer, confirmed that they wanted Phunya SeleSele to be part of the big occasion in an official game.

Also known as the home of Siwelele, the stadium has been refurbished for the Confederations Cup in June and 2010 World Cup.

Mohlakoana said they were over the moon that the upgrading of the stadium, also used by the Vodacom Cheetahs, has been completed.

He said builders were applying the final touches in the upgrading of the venue from from a 38000 seater to 46000.

"The building works at the Free State Stadium is now complete, the green seats on the new main stand are visible from a distance."

He said they have replanted the kikuyu grass after it was damaged by heavy rain in January. The turnstiles and video screens will be completed this month.

Mohlakoana said they were also renovating three facilities to be used as training sites during the two competitions - Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, Free State University's Shimla Park and Central University of Technology (CUT) Stadium.

At Seisa Ramabodu, they are upgrading the floodlights, pitch and dressing rooms. At Shimla Park, it is the pitch. Floodlights are being upgraded at CUT.

Turning to transport, Mohlakoana said the implementation of the pedestrian projects is nearing completion.

"The construction of the inter-modal transport facility has already commenced and will be completed by April 2010.

The widening of key roads such as Nelson Mandela Drive and Partitt Avenue has also commenced and will be completed by February 2010."

He added that the training of volunteers for the Confederations Cup will start at the end of this month.