New base for Cape Town rugby?

The city of Cape Town and the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) have agreed to enter into formal talks for Cape Town Stadium in Green Point to become the new base for the rugby union. It would involve the union moving from the smaller Newlands Stadium, ending an association of 124 years.  

Built in 2007, the sea-fronting Cape Town Stadium held the FIFA 2010 World Cup and can hold an additional 12,000 spectators compared to the historic Newlands, which was bought by the WPRFU in 1888 and holds almost 52,000 people. In the 1990s Newlands underwent significant renovation in preparation for hosting the opening game of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

The sale of Newlands, which is owned by the WPRFU, would boost the rugby union's coffers. However, the fact that the Green Point stadium has approximately 100 corporate suites available compared to Newlands Stadium’s 315 suites would, potentially, signify a major decrease in revenue for the union.

One option likely to be considered by the union is “business club seating”, which provides a large group of seats available exclusively for corporate sponsorship, with its own hospitality staff.

The WPFRU has said that the move – which would also see the Stormers rugby union team and Ajax Cape Town football squad transfer to Cape Town Stadium – would take many years of negotiations and planning.