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CT Stadium beats budget

2010-07-21 16:08
Cape Town - The Cape Town Stadium cost about 25% less than its council-approved operating budget over the last 18 months, its operator said on Wednesday.

"I'm not sure how many other FIFA World Cup operations are going to come in under budget, so I think it is important for the people of Cape Town to understand that their money has been fruitfully spent," SAIL STADEFRANCE chairperson Morne du Plessis told a press briefing.

"We operated against a council-approved budget and again that was not money paid to the operator, it was a budget to operate the stadium."

A total of 507 332 spectators used the stadium during the World Cup.

The city's stadium, the Fanfest, Fanjols and the Fanwalk saw a total attendance of 1 822 873 people.

Du Plessis said the stadium would never see 65 000 people inside it again as about 13 000 seats were being removed.

"The ROD (record of decision), which governs the use of the stadium will only allow, which the environment impact studies suggest, 55 000 maximum," said Du Plessis.

The stadium had recently been handed back to SAIL STADEFRANCE, on behalf of the City, from FIFA.

Du Plessis said the stadium operator needed an undertaking from the city of Cape Town, as well as from the public, to sustain the venue.

"We need the City's commitment to the stadium. It can't be the operator's problem alone. It's a communal challenge."

The stadium was a significant part of Cape Town's pride.

"People actually fell in love with the city again and fell in love with the stadium."

A strategy for its future use involved sporting events and entertainment. A stadium party is being organised for the end of August, when the Premier Soccer League kicks off with a game in the city.

"The details of the celebration are still being finalised but will include celebratory pre- and post match music and fun, as well as soccer of the highest calibre."

The fan walk would be "activated" and there would be transport to and from the stadium.

The stadium operators were in intense discussions with the PSL, he said.

"There's a hunger for football."

As far as rugby was concerned, Du Plessis said there had been no approvals. The decisions were in the hands of the Western Cape Rugby Union and the South African Rugby Union, he said.

The stadium was looking to host a rugby festival, the Varsity Cup and, in the next few years, the Tri-Nations and the IRB Sevens.

The stadium would host a new year's eve event and a number of concerts were on the cards.

The anticipated events calendar for 2011 had seven full capacity events of 40 000 to 55 000 people, eight large events of 20 000 to 40 000 people, and five medium events of less than 20 000 people.

The stadium would also re-open its visitors centre in August and the Green Point Park would open in October.

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