De Lille wants Bok Test at Cape Town Stadium

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In announcing a new deal on Thursday in which the Cape Town Sevens would be hosted at the stadium for the next three years, De Lille said that the city was in talks with SA Rugby about hosting a Springbok Test match at the Cape Town Stadium in future.

There has been speculation in recent months that next year’s Springbok-All Blacks Test could be scheduled for Cape Town. If that happens, De Lille wants it to be played at the 2010 Fifa World Cup venue.

“We are busy negotiating with SA Rugby to host a Springbok Test, which should have happened long ago,” the mayor said on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.

“The reality is that most locals are rugby supporters, and I think they deserve a better stadium than Newlands. Ideally, we want all future rugby games to be played at the Cape Town Stadium.”

Negotiations between WP Rugby and the city have continued over the last few years, but up to now, the rugby union has opted to remain at Newlands stadium, which they own.

De Lille reiterated the city’s plan to create a separate municipal company to run the stadium and attract sponsors and events, but added that she still had hope that WP Rugby would become an anchor tenant.

“The sevens tournament certainly threw us a lifeline, but it’s not really assisting us to break even with maintaining and the cost of maintaining the stadium. But we are going to form a municipal entity, which is going to manage the stadium like the convention centre is being managed,” De Lille said.

“They will have the freedom to source events and to manage the stadium and run it. I don’t think the City of Cape Town, as a government, is capable of doing that. And that is why we are now forming this new company.

“We then foresee people coming to buy naming rights for the stadium. We still hope that Western Province Rugby can become an anchor tenant, and we are going to commercialise the second floor and leasing out some of the parking spaces for conferencing. So we have a whole new plan this year to try and at least break even with the stadium.”

The Cape Town Sevens moved to the Mother City from Port Elizabeth in 2015, and De Lille said that the city had decided to extend the hosting deal for the Cape Town Sevens for another three years up until 2018, despite not breaking even with regards to expenses and services provided last year.

“We approved with Council yesterday to host the Cape Town Sevens for the next three years. The benefit to the economy in hosting the tournament was R539 million last year, which is why we decided to make this investment. We hope to break even one day, with all the services we provide for the event,” she said.

“It is also about showcasing Cape Town as a world-class destination, and we think the benefits are huge. We want our city to be the events capital of Africa, and hosting the Cape Town Sevens is part of reaching that goal.”

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@ashfakmohamed

Independent Media

Original source: De Lille wants Bok Test at Cape Town Stadium

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