Rugby

National Stadium hosts SA v NZ

2010-07-07 15:47
Soccer City to be renamed National Stadium? (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks will play New Zealand at National Stadium (currently Soccer City) on August 21, following a ground-breaking decision between the South African Rugby Union and the Golden Lions Rugby Union.

Peter de Villiers’ team will begin the home leg of their Vodacom Tri-Nations campaign at the iconic 88 791 seat stadium, which will host the FIFA World Cup final on Sunday.

The decision to move to National Stadium creates significant landmarks:

- The potential for the largest crowd for a home Springbok Test in 55 years (since an estimated 95 000 attended the SA v Lions Test at Ellis Park in 1955).

- More than 9000 of the available tickets to be sold at R350 – the lowest price for a major Springbok Test since 2005.

- 5000 tickets to be sold exclusively at Computicket outlets in Soweto for just R100 from July 26th.

- Free parking incorporated into the ticket price for every four tickets bought.

“This is an historic day and one in which the whole of South Africa can celebrate,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, the president of the South African Rugby Union.

“Taking the Springboks to what is already an iconic world venue gives our players and supporters the best stage on which to enjoy rugby.

“But it also allows us to continue the nation building through sport that we have enjoyed throughout the FIFA World Cup.”

The Golden Lions have been informally discussing the idea of playing this fixture at National Stadium for a year, and had the prerogative to make the final decision.

“I am delighted to say that the Lions needed no encouragement from SARU to make the switch,” said Mr Hoskins. “It has presented logistical and contractual challenges to them but I would like to commend Lions president, Kevin de Klerk, and his team for their determination to make this dream a reality.”

Mr De Klerk said the decision had only been taken after consultations with key stakeholders such as sponsors, suite and season ticket holders and the rugby clubs of the Golden Lions Rugby Union.

“The only thing that surprised us was the near unanimity of our stakeholders in embracing this decision,” said Mr De Klerk. “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and as much as we love Coca-Cola Park there was widespread agreement that we must take such a significant rugby match to one of the best stadiums not just in South Africa but in the world.

“I’d particularly like to thank key sponsors Coca-Cola, Bidvest and Macsteel for coming to the party and to the City of Johannesburg and Stadium Management SA for assisting us in making this match possible.

“They have had to make major sacrifices on some of their contractual rights but the way they have supported us in recognising the potential benefits of this move – not just for rugby but for South Africa – has been magnificent.

“The match would also not have been possible without the vision and support of Stadium Management SA who have been prominent in driving the process of hosting the Test at National Stadium.”

Mr De Klerk said the Lions had opted for a differential ticket pricing system – in line with the FIFA model – in the hope of producing a sell-out crowd. The price of standard tickets is R500 – a price that was locked in before the start of the season as part of the Union’s season ticket pricing.

“Sports fans have had to dig deep over the past few weeks and we know how much it has cost families to watch the World Cup.

“But a family of four can come to see the Springboks play the All Blacks in what is likely to be John Smit’s 100th Test at one of the best facilities in the world for R1400 in total – and that includes parking.

“And to offer the opportunity to the local community to see the Springboks – possibly for the first time – we have 5000 tickets available at just R100, as well as normally priced tickets, available through Computicket outlets only in Soweto.”

A second release of tickets may be made at a later stage, depending on the uptake of stakeholders.

Tickets for the match are available through Computicket channels (Computicket outlets, Money Market counters in Shoprite Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores; online at www.computicket.com or through the Computicket call centre on 083 915 8000 and go on sale on Monday 12th of July 2010.

National Stadium Factfile

Built: 1987
Upgraded: 2009
Inauguration match: Bidvest Wits vs Amazulu (May 22, 2010) Nedbank Cup Final
Cost of upgrade: R3.5bn
Capacity: 88 791
Record attendance: 84 617 Ghana vs Germany (June 23, 2010)

Read more on:    boks
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