In 2022 Ronnie and I were lucky enough to attend all the Springbok home games. It took us around the country and we had a blast. What it also did however was allow us to rate and review all the stadiums. You can check out our previous review here. Whilst there will always be huge debate about the best and worst, I feel very strongly that Green Point is far and away the best that SA has to offer.
We have attended games at every single rugby stadium now, except for Tafel Lager Park. We were in PE to see the Boks face Ireland, we watched the Boks v All Blacks at DHL Newlands and we were even once in Orlando Stadium to see the SA 'A' side take on the French Barbarians. All in all I think Ronnie and I are well placed to give an overview of the general fan experience.
Post my previous review, a number of followers reached out to say that I had been harsh on somewhere like Ellis Park. So if you tune into the Podcast you will know that we have agreed to review it again post the clash with Los Pumas at the end of July.
This weekend Ronnie and I were lucky enough to be sponsored accommodation down in Cape Town, you can check out where we stayed here, for if you're ever in need of a spot to stay for a weekend. We booked last minute flights and landed after midnight on Friday, well worth it though as we were going to watch the URC quarter-final between the Stormers and Bulls. So without rambling any further, here are a few pictures and descriptions to show just why it is that the Stormers and Green Point Stadium should be SA's prime location for Bok tests.
As Ronnie says, they have excellent facilities planning and this is evident from the minute you arrive. Yes there is a queue to get into the stadium. Is it like the ones at any other? Absolutely not! The queue is managed and kept in single file, making it move extremely fast. About 40 minutes prior to kick off and we were inside in less than 2 minutes.
The same thing at Loftus or most other stadia is an absolute nightmare of pushing and shoving with turnstiles that barely function and guards who take forever to scan tickets.
Then we take you to the bathrooms. Whilst this is certainly a benefit to the stadium having been built so recently, the fact that the bathrooms are out of the way, under the stands, drastically reduces crowding in the stadium. The walk ways are kept clear, making it even easier to walk from the bar to your
seat without having someone bump you, causing you to spill your beer. In one side and out the other works perfectly too, except for those few who can't read the signs. Whilst I didn't take a photo of the ladies for obvious reasons, I can confirm there were no queues there either.
These pictures were taken less than 10 minutes before the game was set to kick off.
Then, lets take a look at the bar situation. Probably the best managed part of the whole stadium and what truly lends itself to enjoying the view of the game and not the back of someone's head in a queue. Management have a rule that there be only 2 beers sold per person. This in itself is genius as it prevents Willem at the front re-ordering another 5 beers every time someone he knows walks past, keeping everyone at the back waiting for ages. In addition to this the lines are staggered with a barrier that makes it weave and keeps everyone in single file, Maximizing use of floor space, whilst also ensuring bar tenders aren't overwhelmed and can deal with one customer at a time. These images were taken 15 minutes before kick-off and honestly in under two minutes Ronnie and I each had two beers and had paid for them. An exact repeat of when we watched the Boks v Wales there last year. What a breeze! With queue times like that, who needs to order more than 2 beers?
Lastly there smart people who plan this out take it a step further for the end of the games. The turnstiles that are used to scan tickets and control entrance are neatly packed away to open up the walk ways even more. Fans are able to exit the stadium with ease, there is no bunching together or losing one another. Its more like a Sunday stroll out of Green Point than the mass exodus at Ellis Park where it look like a herd of impala waiting to be picked off by the lurking pick-pockets or worse.
Whilst this game was not sold-out like a Springbok game might be, there were 45 000 people in attendance, which is immense. Loftus can barely cope with 20 000 before they run out of beer. Ellis Park you spend your life in a queue even just trying to get a bottle of water and end up missing the rugby. Here, they plan it properly so that by the time kick off happens, you have a beer, you've been to the bathroom and can sit back and enjoy the rugby. To be honest, with how smooth they operate there, you could probably get your two beers, sneak in a bathroom trip and be back before the side has even finished setting up for a lineout after kicking for touch.
If you want to have the ultimate experience as a rugby fan, then Green Point Stadium is the place to go. Once the pitch is sorted later this year, I see no reason why this shouldn't be the Springboks primary home stadium.