The eyes of the world will be on Cape Town on 4 December 2009, when the final draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup takes place in the city, and will be broadcast live around globe.
FIFA has confirmed that Cape Town has officially been awarded the prestigious event, where the final 32 teams taking part in the tournament, and the groups they play in, will be announced.
This is a major coup for Cape Town, as more than 100 broadcasters from around the world will cover the event live and it will be watched by billions of people across the globe, substantially raising the city’s profile in the international arena.
Speaking during her Budget speech, Cape Town Executive Mayor Helen Zille hailed the news. “I welcome this vote of confidence in our City’s readiness to host major international events.”
Zille also mentioned in her budget speech that construction of the new Green Point Stadium is on schedule, with over 35% complete. In the latest construction milestone, the main support columns have reached their full height.
The final draw event – which will take place before an estimated audience of 8000 guests at the Cape Town International Convention Centre - will not only attract a large television audience, but the international soccer fraternity, celebrities, administrators, sponsors and the media will also descend on Cape Town, at the start of the summer tourist season.
The soccer fraternity will spend a week in Cape Town, with four days of actual events planned. According to tourism figures, every foreign visitor spends on average between R500 to R800 a day in Cape Town.
There will also be other large-scale events showcasing the Mother City’s scenic beauty and attractions.
The timing of the final draw is also significant – exactly six months before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off.
The new Green Point Stadium will also be substantially complete by then, with the final completion date set for 15 December 2009.
“This announcement fits in with the City's marketing strategy for 2010 to use events, construction milestones and announcements to generate excitement amongst residents, to fine tune our readiness for the event and to complete legacy infrastructure projects on time,” said City of Cape Town 2010 spokesperson Pieter Cronje.