Home to some of the country’s most fanatical group of supporters, the Free State Stadium is likely to be the centre of attention during the FIFA World Cup™. The stadium was given a plush new look for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. It hosted the memorable semi-final match between Spain and USA where the latter secured one of the biggest surprises of the tournament by sending the European champions packing in front of a capacity crowd.

The Free State Stadium was upgraded from a capacity of 38,000 to 40,911 during the refurbishments. The stadium has hosted numerous major football and rugby union matches, and Bloemfontein’s natives are renowned for their passion for sport. While the former played second fiddle to the latter for decades, football’s popularity explosion – aided by the emergence of Bloemfontein Celtic – is changing this. The Celtic fans are known as Siwelele, a Sotho term.

Free State StadiumThe Free State Stadium ( Afrikaans: Vrystaatstadion), also known as Vodacom Park, is a stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa, used mainly for rugby union and association football. It was originally built for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and was one of the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The primary rugby union tenants of the facility are: The primary association football tenant is: The stadium was one of the host venues for the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It hosted first round matches in Pool C during the tournament. The Free State Stadium was one of venues used for the 1996 African Cup of Nations. It hosted six group matches and a quarter-final match: The Free State Stadium was one of the host venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In advance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a second tier was added to the main grandstand on the western side of the ground, increasing the net capacity from 36,538 to 40,911. Additionally, new turnstiles were created, the floodlights upgraded, electronic scoreboards installed, the sound system revamped to the required standards, and CCTV and media facilities improved. Bloemfontein received R221 million to upgrade the stadium. Though cost estimates were at R245 million, the city decided to stand in for the R24m shortfall. Tenders were advertised in February & March 2007. Upgrade work started in July 2007.

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