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THE CITY wants to have the R4 billion Cape Town Stadium precinct rezoned so that it can accommodate nighclubs, sports bars, restaurants and a sports facility which would include a specialist hospital – all in a bid to save the facility from financial ruin.
Part of the plan includes renting out office space. The local residents association said it was not opposed to parts of the plan, but was wary of the whole precinct being zoned as a business area.
The city will now start talks with the provincial Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning to change the Record of Decision (ROD) for the stadium and the Green Point Park.
The city’s land use management department and the land use rights will also be involved in discussions around the rezoning.
According to a city report, a “critical review” of the zoning is needed. Changes to these will help position Cape Town as a “leading events, investment and tourist destination”.
“(Current zoning) limits any form of commercialisation, specifically not allowing for stand-alone commercial and retail outlets, commercial parking and hiring of commercial offices to third parties,” reads the report.
Last year, the city hired business analysts to look at ways of making the stadium financially viable. And some of these findings were placed before the city’s mayoral committee this week.
It details five-year to ten-year plans for the stadium and the Green Point Park.
Grant Pascoe, the mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said the department’s executive director, Anton Groenewald, would lead the talks with the provincial government.
Mayor Patricia de Lille told the committee there would be wide public participation.
“This is not a decision, it’s a process. We will make absolutely sure public consultation takes place on this,” said De Lille.
According to the report, the “key in optimising the commercialisation of the Stadium and Forecourt” includes:
l Securing anchor tenants.
l Securing retail outlets.
l A “public entertainment node to consolidate within the stadium”, such as stand-alone nightclubs, restaurants, coffee shops, sports bars and late-night venues.
l Letting of commercial offices.
l Commercialised parking.
Other possible uses for the stadium include stadium tours, a museum and a “hall of fame”.
Some of the developments suggested for the surrounding area are a Sports Science Institute and “specialist sports hospital”.
According to the report, the business analyst found current zoning was “extremely restrictive”.
“The results of the business analysis process has shown unequivocally that the existing conditions severely constrain potential revenue generation options and it is critical that they be modified to ensure greater financial sustainability of the city asset,” reads the report.
Pascoe told the Cape Argus the amendments would open the door to scores of commercial opportunities.
“The stadium will be able to sustain itself, becoming less of a burden to the city,” said Pascoe.
Detailed planning and consultations are expected to take around two years.
In this financial year, the operating costs for the stadium are budgeted at over R50 million. Between August 2011 and April this year, the stadium generated a little more than R11m.
Recommendations from the business analysis also suggest three options on the running of the stadium. One is that the city manages the stadium, with an anchor tenant in place.
Another set-up would see the stadium being managed through a public-private partnership with a major tenant. While in the third scenario a municipal “entity” is developed. It then manages the stadium with the anchor tenant in place.
At the moment, the city and the Western Province Rugby Union are in talks about a possible move from Newlands. However, these are at a very early stage.
In January last year, the city took back management of the stadium after the agreement with Sail Stadefrance ended. The city council decided to terminate its agreement with the consortium because Sail Stadefrance would not enter into a long-term lease.
Jenny McQueen, who sits on the management committee of the Green Point Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, said it supported parts of the plan.
“We do want the stadium to be sustainable and pay for itself.”
The association’s biggest concern was “blanket listings” for business rights at the stadium and park areas. McQueen said it feared this meant the whole area would be filled with business and retail stores.