PE set for R150m cash boost from Bok Test

2017-08-16 11:20
Nelson Mandela Bay stadium
Nelson Mandela Bay stadium

Cape Town - Port Elizabeth is hoping for a R150 million boost to the economy following this weekend's Rugby Championship clash between the Springboks and Argentina.

It will be the fifth Test that the venue has hosted since 2011 and is set to be one of the region's biggest moneymakers of the year. 

There are reportedly just 5 000 tickets left for Saturday's match, and Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber acting CEO Prince Matonsi is expecting a full stadium of 46 000 spectators.

When the Boks hosted Ireland in PE last year, the Chamber reported a R155 million contribution to the region's GDP, and Matonsi is expecting more of the same in 2017.

"It should be more or less around that same figure, obviously factoring in inflation escalation," he told Sport24 on Wednesday.

"We are likely to have a full stadium so we should be able to reach that figure again."

That pay day, Matonsi said, goes a long way towards facilitating the upkeep of the stadium, while it also filters through to the rest of the economy. 

"It benefits the different businesses that are involved but we also hope that part of the money will be injected into the maintenance of the stadium, which is crucial," he said.

"That has always been the concern for the city."

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium currently has two tenants - Chippa United and the Southern Kings - and Matonsi confirmed that they face new challenges now that the Kings have been removed from Super Rugby.

The hope, though, is that the Kings' inclusion in the PRO14 will expose PE to a whole new market.

"Traditionally we have had people coming from Japan and Argentina, but with the PRO14 we have an opportunity to have visitors coming from the European market," Matonsi said.

For now, though, attention will be on this weekend and cashing in on the Boks.

"It is definitely one of the biggest events of our year," Matonsi said.

"We also host the Iron Man, which is also a big contributor to the economy of the metro. We expect the Test match to contribute significantly."

Matonsi also revealed that he is expecting PE to be hosting three Test matches in the next four years. 


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