Friday, November 13, 2009

Concerns Over Future of World Cup Stadia

Questions surround the future of Cape Town's new stadium, which many argue will be too small for cricket, too big for football, and too unfamiliar for the city's established rugby teams.

These are questions facing all of South Africa's 2010 World Cup host cities.

There is fierce debate about what to do with it afterwards to make it pay once 13,000 temporary seats, which will boost capacity to 68,000 during the tournament, have been removed. It is too small for cricket, the city's two professional football clubs attract just 15,000 fans each, and much will depend on whether city grandees can persuade the city's rugby clubs to swap the history of Newlands for the comfort of the new stadium.

A consortium comprising Stade de France and a South African sports marketing agency will take on the running of the 4.5bn Rand stadium after the World Cup, paying 30% of their profits to local government coffers. But with five such major new stadiums scattered across this vast country, and rugby the only sport really capable of sustaining them, it is seen as almost inevitable that some will lose out and go on to be tagged as white elephants – a phrase that has become the enemy of any city or country bidding for a major sporting event in an era when the buzzwords are sustainability and legacy.

South Africa diary: day one
The Guardian
November 3, 2009