World Cup Blog: Serbia upsets Germany

18 Jun

Editor’s note: Venues Today magazine has hired University of Florida student Phil Costa to write about his trip to South Africa with students from George Mason University.

Serbia 1- Germany 0.

Not many people expected that.

My experiences at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth wasn’t all that I expected either.  To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure of what to expect.  Before coming to South Africa, the media built up worries about security and the thousands of people heading in and out of the stadiums.

Getting to the stadium wasn’t too tough.  We arrived about 2.5 hours before kickoff, in a bus, and were able to park only a few blocks away.  There were plenty of people directing cars to parking lots and streets surrounding the stadium.

Upon arrival, there was a “fan park” directly outside the stadium. To enter here, they first checked our tickets for validity. Secuirty then used a hand wand for a metal detector, followed by a pat down by another individual.  Male for male, female for female.  All the while, the South African staff was extremely friendly, full of smiles, and happy to welcome us to The Beautiful Game.

After enjoying the atmosphere for a couple of hours, we then entered the 48,000-seat venue.  However, this was not before another security check; they then scanned our tickets to make sure that they were valid.  After entering, the sound of the traditional Vuvuzela only got louder.

All in all, this was an experience of a lifetime.  The security and crowd control were superb, allowing us to enjoy a fantastic soccer match.

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