Soccer

R30m to maintain Soccer City

2010-08-04 13:19

Johannesburg - The new 90 000 seater Soccer City built for the 2010 World Cup finals, will cost between R25 and R30 million per year to maintain.

But that will not be a problem, according to Barry Pollen, a director of National Stadium Management SA (Pty) Limited, the company who will manage the stadium.

A subsidiary of National Stadiums, Stadium Management SA, have the contract to manage Orlando Stadium, Dobsonville and the Rand Stadiums.

There are fears that some - if not all - of the new purpose build stadiums for the recent 2010 World Cup would become white elephants.

"Not Soccer City," Pollen told Sapa this week.

“Soccer City will more than pay for itself. We have already secured 27 events for the stadium this year - and that is not counting the matches we staged here during the World Cup.

"We will have no problem in finding the R2 million plus per month to successfully run this venue and that goes for Orlando, Rand and Dobsonville Stadiums.”

Top PSL outfit Orlando Pirates, will use Orlando Stadium as their home ground, Kaizer Chiefs are expected to utilise the Rand Stadium for home matches this season and Moroka Swallows will continue to play at Dobsonville as they did last season for all their home fixtures.

Pollen explained the R2 million plus per month expenses cover not just the running of the stadium, but making sure the pitch and the interior of the stadium will always be in top condition.

Pollen said Soccer City has become a multi purpose venue and had been booked for not just soccer matches.

“We have the Telkom Charity Cup here on Saturday and 90 000 tickets have been sold for this annual Premier Soccer League season opener, we have booked the stadium for rugby matches, concerts, cultural and church events.

"We will also use Soccer City for conferences, birthday parties and other corporate events. There is no fear that Soccer City will become a white elephant.

All news stadiums are built nowadays as multi purpose venues.”

A judgement on the naming of Soccer City is expected to be made in the High Court on Thursday.

As far as the other new stadiums are concerned - Cape Town, Moses Mabhida in Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mbombela in Nelspruit and the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane - problems await.

Pollen, whose company is not involved in the management of these stadiums, did not want to comment on their feasability, but other sources told Sapa it would be almost impossible to manage them profitable.

Cape Town, Moses Mabhida and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadiums would need about R20 million per year to maintain, while the others would cost between R10 and R12 million per year to run.

The PSL are trying to stage double headers at the new stadium in Greenpoint, but the Cape based clubs, Ajax Cape Town, Santos and newly promoted Vasco da Gama, attract only a handful of fans for home matches and unless somebody gets a brain wave or has a magic wand that venue could be a white elephant as, could the new Durban stadium which, like Cape Town, does not have big PSL clubs to fill it each week.

Neither Nelspruit nor Polokwane have PSL teams in that region and unless the PSL or the South African Football Association come up with a plan to use those venues, they could prove to be very costly to maintain.

A former World Cup host, South Korea, was forced to bulldoze some stadiums build for the 2002 event after they found it cheaper to demolish than maintain them.

Read more on:    johannesburg
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