How much is FNB Stadium? The FNB Stadium or the First National Bank Stadium also referred to as Soccer City or The Calabash is one of the largest and iconic venues in South Africa. The stadium has the capacity of accommodating approximately 94,736 people and has hosted various historic events including some of the biggest music and sports events in the country. The stadium was opened in the year 1989 and then went a major upgrade in the year 2010 for the FIFA World Cup. The design was inspired by the shape of the African Pot named Calabash and hence the name. The stadium is very well-maintained and the amenities offered are excellent. If you are hoping to watch a match in this iconic stadium, a visit to the FNB Stadium would prove to be an unforgettable experience. Today’s FNB Stadium is much different from the old one. It was completely reconstructed in 2006-2009 when South Africa was preparing to host the 2010 world cup (during which the stadium was known as Soccer City). The project consumed ZAR 3.3 billion (app. $440 million), although the price was later proven to be inflated artificially by colluding contractors. Still, the project’s outcome is impressive. The sunken bowl was retained during reconstruction, though some of the upper rows have been removed. All prefab elements of the bowl were laid anew, while two tiers of new concrete stands were added above. Together with two rings of skyboxes (195 in total!) this increased capacity to nearly 95,000, making it the grandest stadium in Africa and one of the largest worldwide. Most seats are orange with only 10 thin black lines. These indicate directions to 9 remaining stadiums of the 2010 World Cup and the 10th leads to Berlin, where the previous edition ended. The new seating layout was created by joint forces of Boogertman and Populous, two renowned design offices. They also created the huge outer cladding (68,000 square meters) shaped to resemble a calabash. Covered with a mosaic in natural colors and a clay-like texture, the perforated cladding hides vast areas of inner promenades. On top of it all is a light membrane roof, hovering some 40 meters above the field. It doesn’t span all the way inwards though, only covering the upper seats and leaving the lower section open to the elements. This allows proper sunlight access and improves ventilation. The stadium, aside from hosting numerous sports and entertainment events, has a special link to Nelson Mandela. This is where he first spoke after being released and where he made his last public appearance in 2010. Also, it’s where his memorial ceremonies were held in 2013.