Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Thursday announced that last weekend's Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament will have positive downstream economic growth effects for hospitality sectors, tourism authorities and business owners in Port Elizabeth should the South African Rugby Union (SARU) decide to extend the host city’s contract.
Attendance to this year’s Sevens event in Port Elizabeth, based on foot traffic figures, increased with 8%.
“In 2012, the total economic impact for Nelson Mandela Bay was R154 million with 500 temporary and permanent jobs created. Last year, this figure increased to R217 million which delivered 700 temporary and permanent jobs for the 2013 tournament,” said Chantal du Pisani, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Chief Executive.
“We are confident that these figures will increase along a similar growth trajectory for this year’s event. The economic impact assessment of the 2014 Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens will be released early next year by SARU,” she said.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium announced that 26 537 spectators visited the stadium on Saturday. On Sunday numbers soared to 36 504, bringing the total number of spectators this year to 63 041, which was up from last year’s 58 569.
“This meant that this year’s Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was our biggest yet and a resounding success,” she said.
Along with the 41% year-on-year cost reduction in its annual operational deficit for the last financial year, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is on track in terms of its business strategy.
Du Pisani further said the event has gone from strength to strength, and has expressed her appreciation for “all-round support from the public, private sector, local tourism officials and sporting authorities.”
“Through our collective efforts, we are ensuring that the stadium continues to be a world-class destination for global sporting events and income-generating asset for residents and business owners of Nelson Mandela Bay.”
Du Pisani said she believes that Nelson Mandela Bay is in a good position for a possible renewal to be the South African host city for the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The announcement on the Sevens host city will be made early next year by SARU.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Supplied)