With the DHL Stormers set to relocate to Cape Town Stadium as from 2021, the Rugby franchise will get first preference to utilise the Stadium ahead of other tenants at the venue which includes Cape Town’s three football clubs campaigning in the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship.
This is according to the chief executive of the Cape Town Stadium, Lesley de Reuck.
Currently, Cape Town City FC plays most of their Premier Soccer League (PSL) home games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup venue. The “Citizens” boss John Comitis was recently in a brawl with the City of Cape Town about the use and availability of the stadium for his club, though the argument was later resolved and City moved back to the venue.
Ajax Cape Town are also regular tenants at the venue together with Stellenbosch FC, though not on a regular basis as they play more of their games at Athlone Stadium.
FARPost caught up with De Reuck, chief executive of Cape Town Stadium to find out more about the relocation of the Stormers and what it means for the Stadium.
“Obviously it’s an incredible move towards the commercial aversion of the stadium and towards pushing all the income streams. We’ve identified about eight- or nine-income streams, and they are all driven by bums on seats,” De Reuck told FARPost.
So, with the Western Province Rugby team playing all their professional and other matches at the stadium, it is certainly going to give us a huge boost from a commercial point of view.
We retain the rights for all the commercial streams, Western Province Rugby will rent the stadium from us, they will be taking the gates and all of that but then the food & beverage will be a shared revenue. So hopefully we will be shrinking the deficit by millions and not by hundreds of thousands,” he added.
Now with Ajax possibly set to gain promotion to the ABSA Premiership next season, the “Urban Warriors” are expected to utilise the venue on a more regular basis which will mean more games will be played at the venue next year, but De Reuck says the venue is up to the task.
“The agreement with the Western Province Rugby is they will be our primary anchor tenant. Which means they get the first bite with regards to the dates that will be available. So obviously we are a multi-purpose stadium and we will remain a multi-purpose facility,” explained the chief executive.
“So that is 15 rugby matches in one season and after that we will be talking to Cape Town City and Ajax Cape Town, obviously we want to host as many of their matches as we possibly can.
“The stadium can comfortably host between 30 and 35 events there, so at the minimum I’d like to see the bigger matches there like the “iKapa Derby”, when City or Ajax host your Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Mamelodi Sundowns,” he said.
“And then the smaller matches can make up the rest of the dates. The City is lucky that they have another stadium that is compliant, which is Athlone.”
“I know Ajax plays most of their games there and Stellenbosch, so it is certainly one of the venues that they will have to utilise. We won’t be able to accommodate all the Clubs and all their matches at the Cape Town Stadium so with Athlone also in the mix, we will do this quite clever. And also, what is nice is that the seasons overlaps by just a few months,” said De Reuck.
“The soccer season is from August to May and then rugby is from February to September, so there is a small overlap.
“We will sit down with the clubs and see how we can facilitate things, but we will definitely accommodate soccer and rugby at the Cape Town Stadium,” concluded the Cape Town Stadium chief executive.
By Shane Matsoyane