Western Province Rugby agrees to 2021 move from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium
Western Province Rugby is moving to Cape Town Stadium from February 2021.
The deal with the City of Cape Town, which owns the 60,000-seat stadium built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, will make the WP Rugby the anchor tenant for up to 99 years.
More suites will be constructed at the stadium as part of the deal, announced on Friday by WP Rugby CEO Paul Zacks and deputy mayor Ian Neilson.
“The city and WP Rugby have agreed on a mutually beneficial revenue-sharing model whereby WP Rugby will have preferential access to play all of its senior professional rugby matches at the Cape Town Stadium,” said Zacks.
“This is a new era for WP Rugby, Cape Town and its people.”
Neilson said the deal would put the stadium “well on its way” to financial sustainability.
“This reduces the burden on future generations and ensures that there is yet another world-renowned public asset that all the people in Cape Town can be proud of,” he said.
The stadium will continue to host all sporting codes and events, and the council will be responsible for repairs, maintenance and operational costs.
WP Rugby’s move sounds the death knell for the 130-year-old Newlands stadium, which is likely to be demolished.
Investec has acquired development rights to the stadium for R110m and plans to build residential and retail buildings on the site.
Newlands hosted its first official match in 1890, when Stellenbosch defeated Villagers in front of about 2,400 spectators. Its capacity eventually grew to 52,000 and the stadium has hosted 54 rugby Tests.
WP Rugby president Zelt Marais said the move to Green Point was a “watershed moment” which would ensure the union’s financial sustainability.