CT wants a fan park for every occasion

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fan parks

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This digitally manipulated picture shows what Chad le Clos Olympic victory would have looked like if it was shown at a Cape Town fan park. Graphic: Rowan Abrahams

The City wants to install big screens at neighbourhood parks to recreate the atmosphere of the World Cup fan parks, where thousands of people gathered to watch games.

The screens are set for the Khayelitsha Wetlands Park, Westridge Park in Mitchells Plain and the Nelson Mandela Park in Delft.

Big sporting events such as Chad le Clos’s Olympic gold triumph will be screened, allowing thousands of residents to watch the action for free.

Should this go ahead, the city also wants to screen Premier Soccer League matches at the parks.

The city says the move marks the start of using Cape Town’s spaces more creatively, falling in line with trends in other big cities, like New York.

Lokiwe Mtwazi, the executive director for community services for the city, says a company called Township TV has received funding to complete similar projects across the country. It has installed more than 30 screens in parks in Durban, George and Gauteng.

A report on the project states that Township TV has secured sponsorship from DStv to the value of more than R1 million a park.

“In exchange for the service, DStv will require branding rights for PSL games,” reads the report.

Motivation for the project includes free entertainment for residents and around-the clock-security at parks.

The report recommends that at the end of a three-year contract, the screens be donated to the city.

Yasmine Joshua from the city’s Parks Department explained that the provider would simply be leasing the space from the city, and once the contract came to an end, the property would become the city’s.

The locations were based on the areas which would have the most viewers because the advertising reach of companies involved was factored in.

There would be 24-hour security at the parks and local residents would be employed to help set up the facility. Community announcements would also be broadcast.

Joshua explained that applications to host events there would be considered on an ad hoc basis, meaning alcohol could be served at some events.

She said the large screens used during the World Cup had cost the city R500 000 a park. This would be a longer-term investment.

“People can go watch the PSL games, the Olympic Games. It’s safe, there is closed-circuit monitoring and the programmes are free.”

Tandeka Gqada, mayoral committee member for community services, said it was the start of a new approach to using Cape Town’s open spaces. Gqada shared her experiences of a recent visit to New York.

“There, the parks are not just about kids going to play. We have to start thinking about how best to use our parks creatively. There, people go to the parks as if they are going to the beach.

“They wear their bikinis and sit and enjoy nature. This marks the start of our journey in using our parks creatively,” Gqada told the committee. The proposal will now go to the full council for approval. - Cape Argus

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