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    WP Rugby confirms 'sad' move to Cape Town Stadium is 'on track'

    2020-05-16 17:22

    Western Province Rugby on Saturday confirmed that its move to the Cape Town Stadium in 2021 remains 'on track'.

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    The stadium in Green Point will be home to the Stormers and Western Province from the 2021 season onwards as they bid a 'sad' farewell to their iconic Newlands home which has been their base for 130 years.

    Whether Newlands gets to see rugby action again in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has brought all sport to a shuddering halt, remains to be seen.

    If not, the last home match the Stormers ever played will be their 33-14 loss at the hands of the Blues on Saturday, 29 February, 2020, while the last Test to have been played will be the Springboks' 25-10 defeat to Eddie Jones' England side on Saturday, 23 June, 2018.

    All told, between 1891 and 2018 the Springboks played 54 Tests at Newlands, winning 35, losing 17, while 2 clashes ended in stalemates.

    In a statement, WP Rugby said: "The 2021 move to the Cape Town Stadium remains on track, and while everyone is sad to say goodbye to Newlands, the opportunity to deliver an exceptional matchday experience in a truly world class environment is extremely motivating. Watching rugby at the Cape Town Stadium will become one of the must-see experiences in world rugby, just as Newlands has been. The experience will attract not only rugby fans, but sport fans in general who want a unique experience."

    For traditionalists of Newlands, the move to the Cape Town Stadium - built to host matches during the 2010 Soccer World Cup - will be a bitter pill to swallow.

    The Cape Town Stadium has largely proved to be a 'white elephant' over the last decade and has placed an enormous strain on the City of Cape Town's finances.

    In late 2019, the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) accepted an R110 million deal from Investec for their Newlands property.

    Newlands will reportedly be demolished to make way for residential and retail developments.

    The deal will, allegedly, see the union receive a 5% share in profits from the development and 3.5% of resales of the units.

    - Compiled by Garrin Lambley

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