Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Move Sevens to CT: readers
Cape Town – An opportunity to make use of the “white elephant” Soccer World Cup stadium in this city ... that is how Sport24 readers appear to view the future of the South African leg of the IRB Sevens.
The two-day rugby event is in the last year of its current contract at Outeniqua Park in George, and speculation is rife that it will almost certainly shift away from the Southern Cape venue.
With Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg emerging as favourites to take over in 2011, we asked in a poll late this week: “Where would you like to see it held?”
And at the time of writing on Saturday, readers heavily fancied Cape Town Stadium: an overwhelming 49% of respondents – the total vote was approaching 1800 by Friday night -- had clicked that option.
Interestingly, next best vote was in favour of retaining the event in the small but hospitable George (26%).
There was notably more modest support (14%) for Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and 11% for the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Of course SARU are desperately keen to revive broad rugby interest in the still-ailing Eastern Cape, which might mean national public sentiment is largely bypassed in the decision-making process.
But cosmopolitan Cape Town in summer would be an attractive proposition both internationally and locally, with every chance that attendances at the Green Point venue – not in use nearly as much as its administrators and the sporting public would like at present – would comfortably eclipse those witnessed in George over the past few years.
Also in its favour is that key sponsors Emirates Airline have regular non-stop flights into Cape Town from their Dubai hub.