Cape Town - South
Africa’s international appeal as a sought after tourist destination will prove
as decisive as South Africa’s standing as a recognised rugby powerhouse in
influencing the vote to determine the hosts of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
bidding process, for the first time in the tournament’s history, is underpinned
by World Rugby’s Weighted Criteria Scorecard.
cities, venues and tournament infra-structure make up 50 percent of this
scorecard - and it’s a scorecard that speaks favourably to South Africa because
of the stadia legacy of FIFA 2010 and the internationally acknowledged and
celebrated reputation of South Africa’s premier cities.
Africa’s Rugby World Cup bid platform is strengthened because of eight
super stadia in seven cities, and while the rugby leadership rightfully can
boast about the quality of the already operational and functional stadia, it’s
the attraction of the cities that are home to these stadia that could determine
which way the Council members vote.
leadership of all three bidding teams (South Africa, France and Ireland) will
get an opportunity to present to World Rugby’s Council in London on September 25.
Council will then vote to determine the winning bid on November 15, but in the
interim (in October) World Rugby’s Executive will also receive the evaluation
commissions report and independent service provider reports, as per the Weighted
would generally be accepted that the Council vote would be consistent with the
independent recommendation but it’s no guarantee that the Council members share
the view of those independents when it comes to who gets ranked one, two and
independents, who are assessing each bid, may conclude that very little
separates the three in an overall percentage, which then highlights the
importance of how the selling job gets done (to the Council members) by each
country’s respective bidding teams.
makes South Africa’s sell to the World Council that much easier, outside of an
extremely compelling commercial and technical bid, is the city and provincial
make-up of the country.
Western Cape is renowned as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, while
South Africa’s international appeal includes wildlife and spectacular beaches
more to hosting a World Cup than the match day occasion and it’s here where
South Africa has an advantage in the diversity of the offering, from Table
Mountain to the Kruger National Park.
do believe we have answered all the rugby related questions,’ says South
African Rugby Union President Mark Alexander. ‘Our bid is very strong, but so is
the lure of visiting South Africa for the tourist experience. It’s very
Africa’s host cities’ decision makers, like the government (provincially and
nationally) had to agree that there was value in hosting a Rugby World Cup.
There had to be benefit beyond rugby’s needs as a sport.
had to make economic sense; and it does.
Elizabeth, as just one example, detailed the financial gains of hosting a
Springbok Test match.
Mandela Bay Business Chamber acting CEO Prince Matonsi estimated that there
would be in excess of R155 million contribution to the region’s GDP, based on
having the Springboks in Port Elizabeth for one week during this year’s Rugby
the commercial return when several international teams are based in the region
for a month during a World Cup?
is among the converted as to the benefits of international sporting events in
benefits the different businesses that are involved, filters through the rest
of the economy and also gives an injection into maintenance of the (Nelson
Mandela Bay) stadium, which is crucial to Port Elizabeth being a world-class
African Rugby Union Commercial Manager Tsholo Khubeka says the response from
the proposed host city’s respective leaderships has made South Africa’s bid
even more compelling.
said from the outset that this is a bid about South Africa and South Africans,
of which rugby is the vehicle. It has to have the support of government and it
has to have the buy in from those host city representatives. We’re fortunate
and blessed to be able to have the (city) locations we have in terms of our
stadia offering is without comparison and so too is the tourist aspect of what
you can do when visiting each of the host cities.’
Africa’s bid also focuses on the World Bank’s Purchasing Price Parity data,
which shows that visitors to the 2023 World Cup can experience three weeks in
South Africa for what it would cost for one week in either France or Ireland.
Africa is renowned for its rugby, but the success of hosting the Rugby World
Cup, like the bid itself, is about what supports the rugby offering.
when it comes to tourism in South Africa, it’s pretty much got everything and a
low cost with no compromise to quality.