10 best football stadiums in South Africa

John Dennis

South Africa has many world-class sports stadiums facilitating the greatest sports events ever. The stadiums have hosted the Rugby World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA World Cup, and Africa Cup of Nations.

In 2009, South Africa started a massive project for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The government built five stadiums and upgraded five existing stadiums for the tournament.

Today, the new and upgraded stadiums host different events, including football, rugby, and concerts. Both football and rugby clubs use the stadiums as their training and home grounds for matches.

These are the best football stadiums in South Africa.

1. FNB Stadium

The FNB Stadium ranks top among the best football stadiums in South Africa
The FNB Stadium. Photo: SarBareman
  • Location: Stadium Avenue, Nasrec, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Capacity: 94,736
  • Club: Kaizer Chiefs Football Club
  • Popular Event Hosted: African Cup of Nations (1996 and 2013), 2010 FIFA World Cup

FNB Stadium, the best football stadium in South Africa, was the primary venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

It also hosted the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, where South Africa beat Tunisia 2-0 to lift the country’s first-ever AFCON title. The stadium also hosted the 2013 AFCON.

The FNB is the largest stadium in South Africa, with a capacity of 94,736 spectators. Its current tenants are the Kaizer Chiefs of the South African Premier Soccer League.

The South African national football and rugby union teams also use the stadium for international matches.

2. Ellis Park Stadium

Ellis Park Stadium
Ellis Park Stadium. Photo: twitter.com/mamelodi_1937
  • Location: Doornfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
  • Capacity: 62.567
  • Club: Lions
  • Popular Event Hosted: 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup

Next on the list of the best football stadiums in South Africa is Ellis Park Stadium in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which was opened in 1928.

Initially, the stadium was built for rugby matches. However, its expansion in 2009 made it a rugby and football stadium.

Ellis Park Stadium hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, where South Africa lifted the country’s first-ever Rugby World Cup trophy after defeating New Zealand. The stadium also hosted the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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The Golden Lions have used the venue for rugby matches since 1928.

3. Cape Town Stadium

Cape Town Stadium
Cape Town Stadium Image: twitter.com/CapeTownCityFC
  • Location: Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Capacity: 58,300
  • Club: Cape Town City FC
  • Popular Event Hosted: 2010 FIFA World Cup

Cape Town Stadium in Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa, is the most expensive soccer stadium in South Africa. Construction of the stadium started in 2007 and ended in 2009 at $600 million.

Cape Town Stadium hosted eight matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The iconic game was the semi-final between Uruguay and Netherlands, where the Netherlands won 2-3.

Initially, Cape Town Stadium had a capacity of 64,100 during the World Cup. However, the number was reduced to 58,300.

As of 2023, the stadium is home to Cape Town FC.

4. Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium
Moses Mabhida Stadium. Image: twitter.com/Masandawana
  • Location: Walter Gilbert Road, Stamford Hill, Durban, South Africa
  • Capacity: 55,500
  • Club: AmaZulu FC
  • Popular Event Hosted: 2010 FIFA World Cup

Moses Mabhinda Stadium is a new sports stadium constructed in 2007 in Stamford Hill, Durban, South Africa. The multi-purpose stadium can host all types of sports events.

Moses Mabhinda Stadium hosted seven matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Its iconic event was the semi-final between Germany and Spain, where Spain won 1-0.

During the World Cup, the stadium had a capacity of 62,760 people. The number was later reduced to 55,500 spectators but can be adjusted to 75,000 people for other games.

Moses Mabhinda Stadium is the home ground for AmaZulu FC and the South Africa national football team.

5. Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Image: twitter.com/BrumbiesRugby
  • Location: 440 Kirkness Street, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Capacity: 51,762
  • Club: Mamelodi Sundowns
  • Popular Event Hosted: 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup

Loftus Verfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, is an iconic stadium built in 1906 and opened in 1923. In 2008, the stadium was expanded to have a maximum capacity of 51,762 spectators.

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Loftus Verfeld Stadium hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup. After its expansion in 2008, it hosted the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In 2010, the stadium hosted six World Cup matches, including a game where Uruguay defeated South Africa 3-0.

As of 2023, Loftus Verfeld Stadium is the home ground for Mamelodi Sundowns FC. However, rugby union teams, including Blue Bulls and Bull, also use the stadium.

6. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
  • Location: 70 Prince Alfred Road, North End, Gqeberha, South Africa
  • Capacity: 48,459
  • Club: Chippa United
  • Popular Event Hosted: 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2013 Africa Cup of Nations

The Nelson Mandela Stadium Bay in Gqeberha, South Africa, was part of the stadiums constructed in 2009 to prepare for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It has a capacity of 48,459 spectators.

In 2010, the stadium hosted eight World Cup games. A memorable match on the pitch was between Netherlands and Brazil in the quarterfinals, where the Netherlands won 2-1.

Since 2014, the stadium has been the home ground for Chippa United FC. However, rugby union teams Eastern Province Elephants, Southern Kings, and South Africa Sevens have used the stadium as their home ground.

7. Mbombela Stadium

Mbombela Stadium
Mbombela Stadium Image: twitter.com/Springboks
  • Location: 1 Bafana Road, Nelspruit, South Africa
  • Capacity: 43,500
  • Club: The Pumas
  • Popular Event Hosted: 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2013 African Cup of Nations

The Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa, was constructed in 2007 and opened in 2009. The project was part of the preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mbombela Stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 43,500 spectators. In 2010, it hosted four FIFA World Cup group matches, including the game where Ivory Coast beat North Korea 3-0.

In 2013, Mbombela Stadium hosted the Africa Cup of Nations, including the semi-final between Ghana and Burkina Faso, where Burkina Faso eliminated Ghana 3-2 on penalties.

After the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Mpumalanga Black Aces FC used Mbombela Stadium as its home ground until the club folded. Then, however, the football team shared the ground with The Pumas of South Africa rugby union, who still use the field today for rugby matches.

8. Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Image: twitter.com/OfficialSMSA
  • Location: R565 (Sun City Road), Phokeng, South Africa
  • Capacity: 42,000
  • Club: Platinum Stars
  • Popular Event Hosted: 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2013 Africa Cup of Nations
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The Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, South Africa, has a capacity of 42,000 spectators. The stadium was renovated and expanded in 2009 to prepare for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In 2009, the stadium hosted the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In 2010, it hosted six 2010 FIFA World Cup matches. And in 2013, it served as the venue for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

After its renovation and expansion, the Royal Bafokeng Stadium was home to Platinum Stars. However, the team folded in 2018, but the field hosts soccer, rugby, and athletics.

9. Peter Mokaba Stadium

Peter Mokaba Stadium
Peter Mokaba Stadium
  • Location: Magazyn St., Polokwane, South Africa
  • Capacity: 41,733
  • Club: Polokwane City FC, Baroka FC
  • Popular Event Hosted: 2010 FIFA World Cup

The Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa, has a capacity of 41,733 spectators. It is one of the fields constructed in 2010 specifically for the World Cup.

The stadium hosted four 2010 FIFA World Cup matches. It was also the Super 14 rugby union match venue in 2010.

The Peter Mokaba Stadium has been home to three football clubs: Limpopo Blue Bulls, Polokwane City FC, and Baroka FC.

10. Orlando Stadium

Orlando Stadium
Orlando Stadium Image: Twitter.com/OrlandoCitySC
  • Location: Mooki Street, Orlando East, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Club: Orlando Pirates
  • Popular Event Hosted: Soweto Derby, FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert

Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, is one of the best soccer stadiums in South Africa. It has a capacity of 40,000 spectators.

Although it is a soccer stadium, many rugby tournaments have occurred at the venue. For example, in 2010, it hosted the Super 14 Rugby Union semi-final and the 2010 Super 14 Final.

Orlando Stadium is the home of PSL side Orlando Pirates. The Pirates have used the field since 1970.

FNB Stadium, Ellis Park Stadium, Cape Town Stadium, Moses Mabhinda Stadium, and Mbombela Stadium are the best football stadiums in South Africa.

However, other stadiums like Orlando Stadium, Peter Mokaba Stadium, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium are outstanding and have hosted some of the biggest sports events, including AFCON, FIFA World Cup, and Rugby World Cup.

Have your say

Which other South African stadium do you think deserves a spot on this list? Have you visited any of these stadia? Let us know in the comments below.

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