I try not to post often with content that altogether doesn’t apply to the Kansas City Wizards. The last time was when I uploaded ESPN’s special soccer feature on Private First Class Nick Madaras, a video that has now been watched 6,600 times on YouTube in the last two months. This ocassion merits such special attention, too.
First highlighted by Du Nord last Friday, ESPN The Magazine’s special 10th anniversary issue — on newsstands now — include’s an incredible piece on the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in Africa for the first time. Written by former Kansas City Star sports reporter and University of Missouri alum Wright Thompson, the piece takes an in-depth look at the magnitude and meaning the event will have on the people and fate of South Africa.
It would be funny if it weren’t true. The stakes seem overly dramatic to an outsider, especially someone from America, where sporting events are vehicles for selling cheeseburgers, motor oil and estate planning. A successful World Cup will foretell a long-lasting African democracy? A failed World Cup, a civil war? That’s absurd, right? But in harbor bars and airport customs lines and township shebeens, many Capetonians talk of the event as if it were a $550 million tarot card. “We are expecting 2010 to save South Africa,” Skosana says.
Not included in the online version of the article is a graphic depicting the construction of Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium. It came as particular interest to me given the Wizards current stage of stadium design for the Bannister Mall site, also scheduled to open in 2010. In addition to details concerning flexible seating capacity for post-World Cup use and aesthetic modifications to the lighting to prevent obstructing the Ocean-front view, is this interesting information on noise control:
No one likes noisy neighbors. Especially not the thousands of homeowners who reside near the venue. But Green Point isn’t a dome. And asking 68,000 fans to sit on their hands isn’t an option. So what’s plan C? Meet the double membrane. The partial roof is made up of distinct inner and outer materials. The inner surface, which will face the crowd, is a soft, fiberglass composite that absorbs and disperses sound waves. The outer is a hard, undulating surface that reflects any escaping sound waves back into the stadium. It adds up to a noise reduction of six decibels from the previous stadium, which held only 18,000 people.
Fascinating to read and it really gets the imagination going on just how sweet a stadium the Wizards could be playing in two seasons from now, especially given the ownership group’s pledge to build a premiere facility. Also of note in the issue are the inclusions of DC United as the 10th most dominant player/team of the last 10 years and 5th best season (1999) of the last 10 years. Houston’s 2007 season, when they defeated Kansas City in the Conference Finals, was ranked as the 9th best season of the last 10 years. Lastly, looking ahead 10 years, the magazine comically predicts 4 billion viewers will watch the 2018 MLS Cup, making it “by far TV’s most-watched event ever.” Ha.
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