Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is a state of the art multipurpose stadium situated on the shores of the North End Lake in Port Elizabeth. Seating 48 459 spectators, it is one of three coastal stadiums that were built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and it regularly hosts large scale rugby union and football (soccer) matches. The stadium has also been used as a concert venue.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the first world-class football stadium to be built in the Eastern Cape Province. Before the stadium was built, large football matches were generally played at the local rugby ground, the EPRU Stadium. The EPRU Stadium was problematic, because it normally hosted rugby matches and the playing surface was not of a great standard. When Port Elizabeth was chosen as a host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the city decided against upgrading the EPRU Stadium, because it would have needed to be almost completely rebuilt to suit FIFA requirements. Instead, the city decided to build the brand new, multipurpose stadium.
The stadium is named after its administrative district, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, which in turn is named after Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa. The Nelson Mandela Bay area is made up of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, and Despatch, along with several smaller settlements.
The stadium is not to be confused with 'Nelson Mandela Stadium' in Kampala, Uganda. It is also sometimes mistakenly claimed to be named after Nelson Mandela, rather than the metropolitan area named in his honour.