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Cape Town – The prospect of Western Province rugby moving to Cape Town Stadium will “get there”, according to Western Province Rugby and Football Union president Thelo Wakefield.
Speaking at the extension of DHL’s sponsorship of Western Province rugby at the Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town on Wednesday, Wakefield said there were ongoing discussions between the city and the union and “the wheels of the state were slowly turning”.
But he said there were still a few issues to overcome before they could turn the idea into a reality.
“The most important aspect for us is not just to pack up at Newlands and go across to the stadium,” he said. “We have to look at what we’re letting ourselves in for – that will be the toughest part of the decision-making process.”
He said as it stands, Cape Town Stadium didn’t worry him but there were a few issues that had to be addressed, namely financial stability and the accommodation of the Newlands faithful, the various suit holders, season ticket holders and all the other stakeholders.
Last year, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing Grant Pascoe explained that the city had some work to do to allow the possible move.
“We have to look at the (provincial) Record of Decision, which permitted the building of the stadium, to now permit commercial activity other than events.
“(This) would need to happen to allow us to lure an anchor tenant, to make it viable for WP Rugby, if they so wished,” he explained.
The proposed relocation of Western Province rugby has been a long-running saga with negotiations breaking down and being rebuilt over the course of the last three years.
Cape Town Stadium boasts better facilities, capacity for around 18 000 more spectators and an upgraded transport plan. – Cape Argus