A key part of the university experience is connecting with the vibrant university community. One of the best ways to discover this community, build relationships and make lasting memories during university is through common interests. Like catching the big game at the hottest spots in and around Hatfield. We are all trying to relive that 2023 Rugby World Cup finals vibe. The camaraderie. The passion. The tension. So, here is PDBY’s guide to picking the hot spot for game day.

Kick off your exploration at the vibrant Loftus Park, an energetic hub of restaurants and stores right next to the iconic Loftus Stadium. When there is a rugby game in full swing, fans are guaranteed a fantastic time. For those seeking a laid-back vibe with a touch of luxury, Menlyn Maine is the go-to destination. A bit further from the pack, but trust us, the journey is worth it. Menlyn Maine offers high-quality shopping, picturesque views and a dynamic sports atmosphere that caters to football, netball, cricket and rugby enthusiasts. All these places are suitable for anybody looking to let off steam and enjoy their evenings away from their studies.

Then, for those looking to take a step into the student feel, there are a plethora of student places where various sporting occasions can be watched. Padstal, formerly the beloved Springboks, is just outside of campus and is a great place to catch rugby and/or cricket. It has a great vibe when packed and screens galore, but be warned, football is not screened as frequently. Then there is Corner Pocket for those who want to watch their teams’ storm to victory but maybe have a few friends that are not so into sport. The best of both worlds is Livingstone’s, as it has the ‘drinking at your friend’s house’ feel to the porch area with a pool table inside. There is also inside parking for those who can slot in early enough.

Livingstone’s is also one of the last places in Hatfield that still sports a jukebox, which means for the measly price of R5 you can annoy everyone with your music. For the Formula 1 fans, Jollies does roll down its projector screen every Sunday on race day to allow those Max Verstappen fans to watch him slowly eclipse Lewis Hamilton. Lastly, Capital Craft is for the big sporting events, as this pricey brew house has an unreal vibe when it gets packed. So, when it comes to the places that the students come together to watch their preferred sport, you are bursting with choices.

For the ultimate sports camaraderie, delve into the popular, dare we say unorthodox, tradition of watching matches at different UP residences. If you can find a friend who knows a friend in a residence, you are in for a treat. There is nothing quite like the electrifying atmosphere of watching a sports match at a residence on a Friday or Saturday – an experience that resonates with the heartbeat of university life.

So, gear up for an exciting journey through the sports scene in Pretoria. Grab your fellow students, embrace the uni vibes and immerse yourself in the thrill of the game at these top sports hotspots. It is for the love of the game, after all, and the memories that will last a lifetime.

Ozayo Mamba
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