The “Match in Africa” between the two tennis giants will be played in front of a record 50 000 spectators at the 2010 Fifa World Cup venue tonight at 8.30pm. Picture: Roger Federer/Twitter
The “Match in Africa” between the two tennis giants will be played in front of a record 50 000 spectators at the 2010 Fifa World Cup venue tonight at 8.30pm. Picture: Roger Federer/Twitter

Match in Africa, a majestic display of tennis while helping to boost local economy

By Marvin Charles, Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Feb 7, 2020

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Cape Town - Can you believe it? Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal at the Cape Town Stadium!

The “Match in Africa” between the two tennis giants will be played in front of a record 50 000 spectators at the 2010 Fifa World Cup venue tonight at 8.30pm.

Various roads in Green Point and the CBD will be closed as a result of the match. Those attending are encouraged to use public transport to the Civic Centre bus station and catch the free event shuttle to the stadium or use the fan walk.

The first bus from the station in Hertzog Boulevard leaves at 2pm and from Hertzog Boulevard Avenue at 2.30pm, thereafter a bus leaves every 15 minutes or when full. There will be free on-street parking in the CBD after 5pm. There will also be off-street parking at the CTICC, Ryk Tulbagh Square, Picbel Parkade and Plein Park.

Motorists are requested to plan their trips accordingly, taking the road closures into account.

Mayor Dan Plato said: “Apart from the revenue that will be directly generated from this event, there will be a significant economic spin-off for Cape Town at large. This event is being attended by locals, people from various parts of South Africa, from other parts of the continent and certainly tennis fans from abroad.

“The event will also be screened to an international audience and will serve as a great marketing opportunity for Cape Town.

“Businesses around the Cape Town Stadium, and further afield, certainly stand to benefit. There is a knock-on effect for the hospitality industry, in terms of accommodation, restaurants, car hire, among others. Being a Friday, we envisage visitors from out of town to stay-over for the weekend to enjoy the city’s many tourist offerings.”

Plato said similar events in terms of size and stature had previously generated close to R800 million.

Briony Brookes, communications manager for Cape Town Tourism, said the event would be a massive boost to the economy: “With some 50 000 seats at Cape Town Stadium and the Match in Africa charity tennis event being entirely sold out, the economic benefits for Cape Town hosting this event are hard to quantify ahead of the exciting encounter.

“What we can definitely say is that when you consider that every 12 tourists - many of whom will probably spend the weekend in the city - translates into a job for a local, Friday’s event is going to be massive for Cape Town’s economy. However, as the city’s official destination marketing organisation we are also excited about how this event which will surely be seen by millions of tennis fans around the world will showcase Cape Town and attract even more visitors to our city.”

Apart from the excitement of Federer and Nadal squaring off, there will also be a doubles match that will see Bill Gates and Trevor Noah join them on court, while one of the key objectives of the event is to raise $1m (about R14.8m) for the Roger Federer Foundation, which helps children in southern Africa and Switzerland to receive a quality education.

At a press briefing after his arrival on Wednesday, Federer spoke about the money that would be raised: “(The goal) is $1m, and I think it is going to be more than that with the ticket sales and sponsors. But we also have a foundation dinner the night before, where Bill Gates is also taking part. We are getting together and having a nice chat also with Rafa, and if you add all these things together, we will raise substantial money.”

Match in Africa local organiser Holger Losch added: “All proceeds go to Roger Federer Foundation and the amount raised will be announced after the match. Events such as this at the stadium contribute to the local economy... 48 000 tickets have been sold. We are aiming for a world record and the exact number will be communicated after the show.”

The match will be televised on Dstv, SuperSport 1, channel 201.

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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