Mayor wants 'rethink' from WP

2011-11-16 13:40

Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has urged Western Province Rugby Union president Theuns Roodman to renew talks about rugby matches at Cape Town Stadium.

She did so by letter, after the union refused to allow a European Heineken Cup game to be played between English club Saracens and French club Bairritz at Cape Town Stadium in January next year.

"To date, the city and Western Province Rugby have had several technical discussions aimed at paving the way for formal discussions to commence," De Lille wrote.

"These have been productive and cordial, with both parties knowing full well that their principals are the final authority in taking decisions.

"In light of the genial relationship that has pervaded to date, I would like to engage with you and your management team with a view to lifting your suspension and recommencing talks with the city."

The union said in a statement on Tuesday that the historic match would instead be staged at Newlands Stadium.

The International Rugby Board, European Rugby Competitions, the Rugby Football Union of England, and the SA Rugby Union, had all supported playing the match at Cape Town Stadium.

The provincial union said it welcomed the match, which would form part of the 2012 Super Rugby and international Test schedule at Newlands Stadium.

It scotched speculation that Western Province rugby intended relocating to the Cape Town Stadium.

Newlands, which first hosted an official match in 1890, holds 45 000 fans, while the new Cape Town Stadium, a host venue for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, has a capacity of 55 000.

However, the home of Western Province rugby boasts 300 hospitality suites compared with 100 at the newly-built venue.

The Cape Town Stadium, which will reportedly cost taxpayers R44.6 million this financial year, has been used sparingly since the country hosted the global football showpiece in June and July 2010.

Premiership soccer team Ajax Cape Town have played nine league games at the stadium this year.

Four international artists performed concerts at the venue in 2011, and an international friendly soccer match was held at the stadium in January.

De Lille said the city had entered into negotiations with Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths, to assess the viability of different commercial models which would underpin the hosting of the match at the stadium.

"Before concluding on a firm offer, the city requested confirmation that the international and South African rugby authorities had endorsed the match," she said.

"Edward Griffiths reverted, confirming that the International Rugby Board and South African Rugby Union had indeed sanctioned the match."

The city was informed that Saracens had taken a business decision to locate the match at the Cape Town Stadium.

A public announcement about the upcoming match was then hosted at the stadium.

De Lille said the city was aware that Saracens had engaged with the provincial union on the hosting of the match.

It had also come to the city's attention that Rob Wagner, from the union's commercial wing, had been informed of the outcome of Saracens' decision to host the match at the Cape Town Stadium.

From a business and destination marketing perspective, the Cape Town Stadium welcomed Saracens' decision, De Lille said.

"At no stage did we intend to dishonour our ongoing and amicable discussions with you by entering into a commercially viable agreement with Saracens," she said.

"I am aware that the Saracens decision may have had unintended consequences (ie negative reactions from your stakeholders). This was never our intention. Nor was it an attempt to pre-empt any decision of a move of Western Province rugby to the Cape Town Stadium."


  • BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 13:43

    Saracens wil by "Cape Town Stadium" speel maar WPRFU besluit hulle het die finale sê !? Ek het gedink Mugabe is die laaste diktator ! Nou verstaan ek hoekom die jong spelers wp op n streep los

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 13:55

      Luister Boeta, hoe sal jy daarvan hou as die Blou Bulle geforseer word om na Soweto toe te trek permanent. Loftus moet nou maar toe maak. Gaan jy vergeet van al die geskiedenis wat daar plaasgevin het? Persoonlik hoop ek Nuweland bly nog baie jare staan. Ek het saam met my pa daar rugby gaan kyk van toeka se tyd toe die New Zealand Kavaliers hier was en ek hoop om eendag my seun ook soontoe te vat. So gaan troll êrens anders soos Loftus.

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 14:02

      @gerhard, jou pa het jou n groot onreg aangedoen

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 14:09

      Jy het nie 'n sê nie want jy is nie 'n WP supporter nie. Nou gaan speel met Steve Hofmeyer of wat julle ouens ook al doen vir plesier daar Noord.

      george.traut - 2011-11-16 14:24

      @Gerhard. They don't say anywhere in the article about moving to CT stadium permanently. This discussion is about 1 game that really has very little to do with tradition since a Heineken Cup game in South Africa is pretty unique. It's only 1 game, but I have made the same mistake by ranting over a permanent move on a different blog. I loved Newlands, but if they don't update the facilities, it's got to go.

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 14:28

      @gerhard, ons wen bekers of Loftus

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 14:29

      Thanks, for the decent comment George. Yes, you are right. It starts with one game though. This one game has financial implications for WP though, so I understand why they are complaining. Newlands have competition now so hopefully they acknowledge that and see how they can better the Newlands stadium.

  • Marius - 2011-11-16 13:56

    WTF, speel by die nuwe cape town stadium, who gives a crap about the old newlands stadium.

  • Craig - 2011-11-16 13:56

    "The International Rugby Board, European Rugby Competitions, the Rugby Football Union of England, and the SA Rugby Union, had all supported playing the match at Cape Town Stadium."...Yet the selfish big cheeses at WPRU couldn't care less! Ai Ai :(

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 14:08

      Want jy vat die WP se geld af. As dit so aangaan dan moet die WP dalk begin Mighty Men Conferences hou soos Loftus om te oorleef.

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 14:23

      @ Gerhard, het jy n probleem met Mighty Men?

      Craig - 2011-11-16 14:29

      @Gerhard: It will not be taking their money because: (1) It is a game that WP isn't even playing in! (2) They will still get a portion of the proceeds if they negotiate a deal! (3) The R500 fines ALWAYS handed out at Newlands go to the Traffic Department and not WPRU! If WP were playing, then I would have no say, but they aren't so the 'greater' rugby boards should have the ruling here!

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 14:34

      Blou Masjien, nee glad nie. Mense in Pretoria het soveel hulp as moontlik nodig. Om in massa saam te bid mag dalk help :)

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 14:35

      Craig, why take some of the gate money when you can have it all?

      Craig - 2011-11-16 14:39

      Gerhard, I suppose you are right. We will just let a paid off stadium rake in the money when us tax payers are footing the bill for the new stadium not being used. The decision to build it was out of our hands, yet we have to support and carry it, the sensible thing is to host it there, but what is going to happen is a different story.

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 14:43

      True Craig, sad that the tax payer have to carry the stadium and I wish all the best for the SOCCER stadium and I hope soccer and the city of Cape Town can find a use for it. It should however not be WP rugby's problem. P.S. I'm not against soccer in any way, but that was what it was build for. The soccer World Cup so keep rugby out of it.

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 14:47

      @gerhard , jy weet natuurlik daar was n Mighty Men op Nuweland se krieketveld.

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 15:06

      Ja en kyk hoe hot is die Cape Cobras hierdie jaar!

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 16:08

      @Gerhard , Na die laaste 20jaar het wp desperaat n Mighty Men nodig

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 17:39

      Blou Masjien, as jy die ballas gehad het om in jou regte naam te comment het ek jou dalk ernstig gevat.

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-17 07:05

      @Gerhard, dit is n flou verskoning, wees eerlik jy's ore aangesit.

  • Corry - 2011-11-16 14:01

    Vasbyt WP, if you allow one game to be played there, they will expect you to play another and pretty soon they will tell you to move to their stadium, that nobody in Cape Town really wanted or needed!

  • Colin - 2011-11-16 14:22

    CT Stadium = empty stands!!! Death Knell for WPRFU..........

  • qmglover - 2011-11-16 14:46

    Guys lets put it this way...We as clubs are the guys who makes decisions for WPRFU(reason why?) Cause WPRFU shareholders are all it's clubs in it's various leagues. So when the decisio was made it was made at council meeting. And i support the decision all the way...Why move the match to Cape Town Satduim ? To allow more people into the staduim? Well what about those company's who own's boxes inside Newlands and who have been supporting club rugby and Province rugby through out...Now when it gets to one great game the city wanna have a piece of the pie ....Why did the city not speak to WPRFU before building the staduim and getting our views? Cause seriously there are more rugby supporters at a rugby match than a soccer match in Cape Town...So stick to Newlands and understand why such a decision was taken????

      Jan - 2011-11-16 14:58

      Cape Town stadium is actually an embarrasment for the City of Cape Town because of the high running cost. Rugby is a professional sport which means they need to make profit to pay their players. The cost of Cape Town stadium will kill Western Province rugby. The atmosphere before and after the game will be lost forever.

      gerhard.nel - 2011-11-16 15:07

      Jan agreed.

      justin.schonegevel - 2011-11-16 15:36

      The CT Stadium was built because of FIFA, newlands was an option but then we would not get a semi nor have a great fan walk! I understand that many firms support WP and SA Rugby but the WPRFU need to rethink their business strategy and incorporate CT Stadium in there plans/ 100 boxes for x Rand!! still can make a killing! If they are then able to run the stadium and put sponsors branding up too.. Newlands would be better served as a multi office park providing rental to WP Rugby !

      Inky - 2011-11-16 15:54

      Good comment! I agree with you that WPRU has no obligation to anybody regarding the “white elephant” stadium in Green Point. The stadium should remain the problem of the soccer administrators and politicians who wasted taxpayer’s money and now want WPRU to bail them out.

  • Peter - 2011-11-16 14:47

    The quicker they start to play rugby at the new stadium the better, more and easier parking, a fan walk plus a nice new stadium to go to. Newlands is old and sentimental only, time for a change, as well as a clean out of staff everywhere, get rid of all the old hangers on .

      Scatmanza - 2011-11-16 15:10

      Just remember there is a cost to movong WP rugby to the new stadium. Firstly WPRU will not own it, and will have to rent it for each match. There will be at least a 2 thirds reduction in income from hospitality suites. The reality is that there will be less money to develop rugby in the Western Cape from school boy to vodacom cup, and as a nursery for the country, will have an effect on rugby in general. the other option, which would probably be the chosen one is to increase pricing, which would decrease supporters, eliminating the advantage of a bigger stadium. Finally I stand under correction, but as the Stadium was designed for Soccer, the are around the pitch is smaller than a standard Rugby Stadium, which could result in injuries.

      justin.schonegevel - 2011-11-16 15:41

      @ Scatmanza that is one view, they could turn Newlands into a great office park with great access to trains and great area near cricket and rent out offices to those who want to have an office where the old Newlands was. If WP Rugby signed a 4 year deal where they could manage the field plus add naming to it they could be make enough to attract big International matches too. Now they only getting Argentina and next yeat there is no guarenteed international for Newlands. The British Lions did not want to play at newlands and they won't in future due to the permanent seat holders and boxes who would not let out their boxes during that tour!! be real! CT Stadium rocks.Parking, Waterfront, view, fan walks, and myCity buss! all the better now! All those in Northern Suburbs don't need to drive in take a buss!

  • Schalk - 2011-11-16 15:10

    They bulldozed Landsdown Road... Newlands should be no exception

  • Ricky - 2011-11-16 16:09

    Going to a match at Newlands is an outing. A braai and a beer at the Grootte schuur High School cricket or rugby grounds before the game is a cultural thing. Where do you braai at the Ct stadium. the average rugby fan does not want to sit in a fan walk coffee shop drinking coffee with with apointed pinky, or cram into a crowded pub for a beer.

  • Pieter - 2011-11-16 16:17

    "Think" is not one of WP strong points. Hence the decade trophy draught

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 16:36

      Tiaan is seker die domste van almal, toe hy sien hoe Schalk om die lynstaan storm vir n drie was die oomblik te groot, hy moes net Schalk ondersteun en dit was n drie, maar nee hy pleeg opstruksie deur die Lions se haker te tackle.

      Pieter - 2011-11-16 16:45

      @Bloumasjien Absoluut. Kyk Schalk, dom Duane en Parkiebank Bekker het lankal die WP na die domste span in die geskiedenis gevat, maar kyk daai Tiaan is so dom so dom as jy sy brein in 'n geelvink inplant dan vlieg die voel agteruit. Moet ook nie vir Brok en Gio weggooi nie, totaal PLANKDOM!

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