Cape Town - A revolutionary redevelopment of Newlands, one of the world’s premier international cricket stadiums, which will involve the transformation of suites to mixed-use facilities including a cricket museum, offices and cafes, has received the thumbs up from the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA).
If successful, this could become an income-generating model for other cricket stadiums in South Africa, reports the supersport.com website.
The proposed redevelopment of Newlands at a cost of more than R450 million will require the rezoning of Newlands. A rezoning-application was recently submitted to the City of Cape Town.
Nabeal Dien, newly appointed chief executive of the WPCA, when you research international trends, the new benchmark is to convert the space for offices and to limit the number of suites.
“An example is the Emirates Stadium (home to the English Premier League giant Arsenal) with only 25 suites.”
Des Raymer, managing director of EduDev, the company responsible for the redevelopment and management of the stadium, said Newlands was originally custom-designed for suites.
Currently, only 39 of the available 114 suites have been leased.
Worldwide, companies have moved away from investing in suites at cricket stadiums and have utilized other more viable options that offer an attractive return on their marketing budgets 365 days per annum instead of only the 17 days per year dedicated to cricket.
In the case of Headingley, a hotel was developed at the international cricketing venue.
“Our vision is to convert Newlands into a 365-day busy campus without negatively impact on cricket. In fact, we want to enhance the reputation of Newlands as an international cricket destination, instead of it lying dormant for much of the year,” said Raymer.
The redevelopment-plan involves converting the suites into mixed use facilities that include a cricket museum, a cricket school, an indoor cricket centre, offices and cafés, he added.
If the City of Cape Town grants the rezoning-requests, building at the venue will commence in April 2016.