WP cry foul on Saracens game

2011-11-15 14:04

Cape Town - The Western Province Rugby Union announced that although they considered Saracens request to host one of their Heineken Cup matches at Cape Town Stadium, they felt its in Western Province rugby's best interests to host the match at Newlands.

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initially reported that Cape Town Stadium would almost certainly play host to Sarries' Heineken Cup pool match against French club, Biarritz on January 14.

However, in a statement from the WPRU, WP's executive committee decided against Saracens' request, citing a number of reasons.

The statement read: "After a recent meeting by the Western Province Rugby Football Union Executive Committee, the request by Saracens to host the match at Cape Town Stadium was considered.  However, the Executive Committee decided that the home of rugby, Newlands, would stage this historic match.

"According to the South African Rugby Union Constitution the final decision regarding the match venue lies in the hands of the host union."

"The WPRFU Executive Committee unanimously agreed that Newlands is currently the home of rugby in the Western Province, and will be treated as such for the foreseeable future. The Western Province Rugby Football Union embraces such a historic match which will form part of the busy 2012 Super Rugby and Test Match schedule at Newlands Stadium."

Cape Town Stadium, one of the 6 newly-built stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, currently only serves as a home venue for Ajax Cape Town during the PSL season.

However, with Ajax's last fixture of 2011 scheduled for early December and their first home game of 2012 only scheduled for February, the stadium would be vacant for almost two months and readily available for Saracens' match, but the WPRU once again cited sentimental reasons to back their decision.

The last and only time rugby was played at the Cape Town Stadium was when the Stormers hosted Boland in their traditional pre-season warm-up match. The venue for next year's match has not yet been finalised.

"Newlands is one of the oldest rugby stadia in the world, with excellent facilities and currently boasts some of the highest attendance levels in world rugby," continued the statement.

"The decision to agree to the hosting of the match at Newlands was made in the best interests of WP Rugby and once again shows loyalty to its suite holders and fans who regularly attend matches at Newlands."

Hosting the Heineken Cup match at Newlands could mean that all of WPRU's visible sponsorships and branding would have to be entirely removed from the stadium to make way for that of the Heineken Cup's official sponsors, whereas the Cape Town Stadium is void of any branding at this stage. However, Cape Town Stadium only boasts a third of the hospitality suites Newlands currently possesses.

The Stormers are also expected to play in a series of pre-season matches at their home, barely two weeks after the Heineken Cup match and by the time the Super Rugby season starts, the stadium will already have been used extensively, while it's Green Point-located counterpart would hardly have been touched.

The WPRU then proceeded to once again pour cold water onto any theories suggesting the oldest union in the country would consider a move to the R4.4 billion structure.

"The WPRFU wholeheartedly embraces the idea of Cape Town attracting international matches and looks forward to hosting other high profile matches at Newlands.

"Additionally the WPRFU hopes to end speculation of the move to The Cape Town stadium. There is currently no intention to move WP Rugby to the Cape Town stadium."

In reaction to the news, Saracens released the following statement: "We are delighted that two world class venues in Cape Town both want to stage the historic Heineken Cup match between Saracens and Biarritz on Saturday January 14.

"We will now continue detailed discussions with all parties."


  • marius.lubbe - 2011-11-15 14:17

    WP union may be sorry. The match could have been a festival game with all the trimming as per the soccer world-cup. Now they will have to cram a few loyalists into the dusty old grounds, and the rest of us will have no interest in watching what is after all an overseas game. Hardekoppe does not make for forward vision.

      clydesta - 2011-11-15 14:30

      I could not agree more. I was looking forward to a sunny afternoon at CT stadium.

      Gareth - 2011-11-15 15:21

      Yeah it is quite ridiculous that they "cant" play it at the new stadium.

      djmain1 - 2011-11-15 15:30

      Yep - must agree with you all. Was excited to go to Cape Town stadium to watch this but now have no interest whatsoever. Newslands stadium by comparison is a grimy cesspit - hate going there. But the penny dropped when they mentioned the suite holders - that is what this decision is all about. They can take their stadium and put it where the sun don't shine!

      BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 07:41

      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.

      CapeChappy - 2011-11-16 09:43

      Anyone who watched a World Cup game at Cape Town stadium knows what a fantastic stadium it is. When the idea was originally discussed about moving WPRU over there, I also opposed it for sentimental reasons, but having been to the stadium a few times, I wholeheartedly support them relocating. It really is a great stadium to watch sports, even the cheap seats have fantastic views. In my view, they should develop Newlands into offices and residential units and assure themselves of an ongoing income stream, then take over the Cape Town stadium, which they can get at a total bargain considering how much it is costing the City.

      neilharrower - 2011-11-16 13:26

      Let's put this into perspective. The game will not attract a huge crowd; for the same reasons that the Crusaders v Sharks at Twickenham did not pack the stadium out. It's two overseas teams with no local fan base. The English Premiership hardly has a following in the mainstream rugby community of SA. Cape Town Stadium is infinitly more expensive to "hire" out, Newlands is practically free for WPRFU. You do the math. To my mind it is the right decision to host the game at Newlands.

      Pierre - 2011-11-18 14:18

      Anyway, this is a Heineken cup match, nothing really to do with WP rugby. Only WPRU wants to block the Cape Town stadium from being associated with rugby in anyway. Very short-sighted. This could have been a real good show piece match promoting Cape Town.

  • Jack - 2011-11-15 14:25

    Its time for local rugby unions to give up ownership of the teams.The amateur era had ended in 1995 already.Im a huge wp fan but we cannot move on with elected club/union administraters when there are so many rich people in the world ready to take sport forward.

  • johan.blertsie.cilliers - 2011-11-15 14:26

    I was actually looking forward to do the whole trip by train to the city and then watch a good game in a proper stadium. This has nothing to do with loyalty to the suites, but everything to do with a bunch of hard headed idiots who are holding onto a dying structure. Newlands is great once you are inside, taking into account the history, but to get there from anywhere except if you are staying next to it, is way to much effort. Wake up WPRFU, you are going to lose this battle sooner or later.

  • Craig - 2011-11-15 14:31

    The "home of rugby" is out-dated, cramped and a nightmare to get in and out of....... when will they start thinking big here and stage a few games at the new stadium... I am a huge stormers fan but never go to Newlands for these reasons...... come now...

      rondee.scherman - 2011-11-15 15:25

      Strange that Newlands have one of the best attendance figure for rugby world wide. How does it feel to not be part of the majority? Love to see you watch rugby in England.

      Sulaiman - 2011-11-18 14:05

      SHAME!!! because then you have never felt the GEES in NEWLANDS :)

  • Craig - 2011-11-15 14:34

    "The decision to agree to the hosting of the match at Newlands was made in the best interests of WP Rugby"...EXACTLY! Never mind the supporters experience and possibe increase in attendance (bigger stadium). Having this unique match a new venue would make it even more special, but as WP said, they only care about what THEY want!

  • Kosie - 2011-11-15 14:38

    why must wp bow for poor anc decisions, good on them,keep rugby where it belongs at newlands.

      Gareth - 2011-11-15 15:23

      ANC or not , the new stadium is exactly that - New! At some point you have to move forward and there is simply no denying that the CT Stadium is so far beyond Newlands one canot actually measure the two.

      Pierre - 2011-11-18 14:55

      Ai Kosie, this has nothing to do with the ANC. Strange you have not weaved Malema, corruption and maybe even farm murders into your argument.

  • Wimpie - 2011-11-15 15:01

    What a disappointment.That cancels my plans to go. It would appear the WPRU's thinking is as outdated as their ability to win tournaments. I wonder if they have even been into the new stadium. The high attendance at Newlands is a reflection of the fans, who show up despite terrible traffic, severely limited parking and not much in entertainment after the match. Then again, these are the guys who swapped Sadie and Engelbrecht to the Bulls for Van Heerden.

  • lydonmcg - 2011-11-15 15:03

    STUPID decision. I have no interest in attending the match now.

  • sean.looney - 2011-11-15 15:10

    this really annoys me and probably is the strongest indicator yet the the wpru will do everything in their power to protect their commercial interests over those of the fans and the city. this could have been a great opportunity to showcase the beautiful cape town stadium to the world, instead we will see a half empty newlands which is never a pretty sight.

      rondee.scherman - 2011-11-15 15:27

      Sean at least you will get to see the game at Newlands at a decent price. How much does it cost to rent the lovely new stadium for one game? Any idea? And how much will the ticket then cost you? ever thought about that!

  • Francois - 2011-11-15 15:17

    Ek wou die wedstyd bygewoon het, maar nou sal ek nie. Wie is nou lus om in die middel van die somer op die verouderde Nuweland te gaan sit?

  • rondee.scherman - 2011-11-15 15:20

    Marius ek glo jy sal in elk geval nie die wedstryd gaan kyk het nie, so hou op moan.Lees die artikel en jy sal dadelik agterkom hoe dit werk en waarom die besluit geneem is. Hoop jy moan ook dat Sharks nie in die nuwe stadion speel nie. Kyk na wat betaal moet word on n game in die splinternuwe stadion te speel en se my of jy meetr as dubbeld sal betaal vir n kaartjie. Nie so gedink nie.

      Jaco - 2011-11-18 11:42

      Rondee, Jy is seker nie n besigheids man nie want jy kan nie die groter prentjie sien nie! Dit gaan nie oor WP na die nuwe stadion to skuif nie dit gaan oor n fees rugby wedstryd wat Scaracens op die nuwe stadion wil speel. Hulle sou ondersteuning van Europa en van die SA publiek getrek het en die stadion vol gemaak het. Maar nou gaan daar niks gebeur nie! Daar was nou n goeie geleentheid om die Kaap provinsie verniet te adverteer en die toerisme bedryf n hup stoot te gee. Maar ons kan nie politiek en ander gemors uit sulke goed los nie ons betrek dit altyd! Die Kaap is groot deels n toerisme stad en kon doen met nog bietjie bloot stelling!

  • Richard - 2011-11-15 16:08

    We were 6 people planning to go. Now we will rather stay at home! Oulik WeePee!!

  • Kevin - 2011-11-15 16:10

    Quite right...due to infighting within the different sporting fraternities and local municipalities,we now sit with 2 beautiful stadiums barely used and 2 aging cesspits that will not see us through the next ten years.What a waste ...bulldoze either or but as a rate payer of Dirtbin we already have too much debt being written off due too subsidizing these useless projects.i.e Ushaka etc

  • Priester - 2011-11-15 16:38

    MMM "Penny wise but pound foolish". This decision is all about WPRFU and their coffers. Fact of the matter is that this match will be broadcasted to millions of viewers and serves as an excellent opportunity to promote Cape Town and SA. A golden opportunity lost. Blou Bul Groete!

  • Pieter - 2011-11-15 16:48

    WP should just shut up. If you can't win ANYTHING in a decade, you don't have a say. JOKERS OF WORLD RUGBY

      Alan - 2011-11-15 20:07

      The south will rise again

      Pieter - 2011-11-15 23:54

      @Alan Not in the next centuary

      Jed - 2011-11-16 07:08

      Most succesful side in the Currie Cup 32 wins to 23 (Bulls were to KUK to make a side to put into the Currie Cup in the early stages). Pieter when you make a playoff again come talk untill then go rotate on your Bull horns. LOSERS Super 15 7th, Currie Cup 5th hahahahaha.

      Francois - 2011-11-18 09:31

      Dit is jammer die WP het nie die Curriebeker gewen nie. Dit sou dien 8ste wonder van die wereld gewees het. skuif alle wedstryde na Groenpunt,dalk gaan dit beter. Swys Stellenbosch

  • Darren - 2011-11-15 16:49

    Dare I say it... Broederbond. I have bought tickets for the Cape Town stadium. Am I missing something....?

  • Peter - 2011-11-15 17:13

    Count me out if it remains at Oldlands.... outdated....

  • Johann - 2011-11-15 17:29

    Indien die wedstryd onder die WPRU gespeel word het hulle tog sekerlik die reg om die venue te bepaal of wat praat ek nou?? Die nuwe stadion maak egter beter sin vir so 'n neutrale wedstryd

  • Daniel - 2011-11-15 18:26

    Love Newlands, but heck, I stopped going to the rugby because of traffic and the whole mission of doing the Newlands thing...really think the guys at WP Rugby must move on and start thinking bout all their fans(not just the ones living in Newlands, Rondebosch, Constantia, Claremont etc)...Newlands' never been the same since they got rid of the grand-stand standing room where so many hardened WP fans grew up in! CT STADIUM is the future. Sell Newlands property or break it down and build some flats there and get money that way guys...

  • Daniel - 2011-11-15 18:29

    WAS SUPER AMPED FOR THIS GAME...if its not Newlands, then they can keep it, such a hassle to go there

  • Johan - 2011-11-15 18:35

    Bring hulle Pretoria (of Orlando) toe!!

  • MargueriteWinton - 2011-11-15 18:59

    I have already bought my tickets for CT Stadium via this decision to host the match at Newlands must be a very last minute one as Computicket has been selling the tickets for a few weeks now.......I"ll still go to Newlands but its just a pain to have to sort the tickets again now.......Saracens is after all to all intents & purposes a SA team who happens to play in the UK.......

      justin.schonegevel - 2011-11-15 22:43

      you should be able to return!

  • justin.schonegevel - 2011-11-15 22:08

    I would boycott the match! I am not a fan of Saracens anyway and would really just liked the game at CT Stadium and the atmosphere! WP Rugby Union I would vote no confidence in the board and a lack of vision! Arsenal moved and many great Teams have moved to new stadiums and it is not the end of a team! It is just an improvement! If I was Saracens I would move to PE Stadium as that venue has great character and also a spectator base that is loyal and interested in Rugby and no big teams except the Kings playing there. NZ vs SA was a great testament to that stadium! CT Stadium for the win!

  • stoltzjf - 2011-11-15 22:24

    Die ene het gemengde gevoelens vir my, Newlands is Newlands en dit is waar my hart le, dit het baie sentimentele waarde en daai gevoel is duidelik daar elke keer as mens soontoe gaan. MAAR tyd stap aan en soms moet mens aan beweeg. Cape Town Stadium is baie moderend en baie mooi. Maar die game wat hulle hier wil speel het nie veel met WP rugby tedoen nie so ek sal se skiuf dit na die nuwe stadium toe. Maar ook weereens hoekom moet die besliut gedoen word deur WP rugby as dit die regering se swak besliut was om destyds die nuwe stadium te bou en miskien nie eerder net n paar rand spandeer het om newlans n facelift te gee nie.

  • justin.schonegevel - 2011-11-15 22:51

    Think the fans should start to talk and with the wallets at not buy WP Season tickets for a while. They need to hear what the fans want! We know the history and legends that strolled the Newlands pitch, but no legend curry cup trophy or S15 has been in their cabinets for 10 years so is there any home ground advantage or luck with the field that says we will play worse at CT Stadium! Maybe the lights, the fan walk will encourage the die hard fans too.. Go Stormers will support from my comfy couch for now!

  • Andre - 2011-11-16 06:07

    I agree to almost al comments, but everything in good time. Newlands is a favourite to most spectators. I love going to Newlands have a braai and a beer, transport wise its a dissaster. Cape Town stadium will have its turn one day Newlands wont last forever. Embrace the smell of the brewery while watching the game, and the history while you still can. The novelty of the new Stadium will also soon wear off!

  • Andre - 2011-11-16 06:08

    I agree to almost al comments, but everything in good time. Newlands is a favourite to most spectators. I love going to Newlands have a braai and a beer, transport wise its a dissaster. Cape Town stadium will have its turn one day Newlands wont last forever. Embrace the smell of the brewery while watching the game, and the history while you still can. The novelty of the new Stadium will also soon wear off!

  • BlouMasjien - 2011-11-16 07:38

    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.

      Darren - 2011-11-16 11:03

      Luke Watson het miskien n punt gehad. Rugby is controlled by a hidden force. Broederbond...

  • Brevan - 2011-11-16 15:22

    You have to realise that the costs of using the Cape Town stadium could end up costing WPRFU if they use the CT Stadium. They need to host the teams, provide them with tickets for traveling supporters. They have to provide Newlands suite holders and members with tickets etc, and they may be required to pay the teams for thier appearance if I am not mistaken. So in the end, WP probably only gets to sell around 20 000 to 25 000 tickets. It is more than likely that the game will not be sold out, especially of the price of a ticket is more than R 100. 25000 tickets at R 100 - R 2.5 Million. The satdium alone with it's incured costs is about R 1.3m. then the other costs that I mentioned above need to be considered. Newlands costs WPRFU less that R 80 000 to host a game. I think their decision makes perfect sense.

      Sulaiman - 2011-11-18 14:10

      Normal People don't understand logistics.

  • Nick - 2011-11-17 21:16

    You lost the plot, WPRFU. Wake up next time.

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