Business plans to stop Cape Town Stadium bleeding cash

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

The Green Point urban park could be handed over to a private management company to lessen the annual loss of millions to locals, according to a new report.

The public park forms part of the Cape Town Stadium precinct which runs at a loss of R35-million to the City of Cape Town and locals. This cost is related to maintaining the venue.

The stadium cost R4,5-billion to build when South Africa hosted Fifa’s Soccer World Cup in 2010. The city has not secured a stadium operator and has been unable to make money off it.

The city has turnaround commercial plan and employed The Environmental Partnership (TEP) to look into how this would affect the immediate surrounds.

TEP has issued an environmental impact assessment report available for public comment until July 20.

The report is available on TEP’s website and also the Cape Town central and Sea Point libraries for public viewing.

TEP recommends in the report the urban park could be run by a private company to save the city cash.

Its report recommends if a private company manages the park the city should has an “oversight role with regards to its maintenance and operation in the long run”.

“As the urban park does not generate financial revenue, the operator needs to explicitly provide means of funding its operation and management,” states the report.

“It must be ensured that equitable access to sports fields, playing grounds and sports-related facilities is provided to the approved sports leaseholders.”

The report also outlines potential billboard advertising on the stadium’s exterior building and use of the stadium for retail and commercial space.

The report states “illuminated signage or advertising” should fit within a “strategic lighting master plan developed and coordinated to avoid unnecessary illumination and energy wastage”.

“The display must avoid information which is likely to offend or negatively affect the health of onlookers,” states the report.

It adds: “Should places of late night entertainment be considered for operation within the stadium… (these) should be strategically located within the stadium to prevent noise emission outside of the stadium after business hours.”

The report forecasts a potential “1000 to 1500 direct jobs will be created as a result of the proposed commercialisation of 12% of floor space (approximately 20,000m²)”.

“As existing under-utilised space within the stadium is being promoted for retail, hospitality and service sectors, it is anticipated that this will attract businesses to the premises,” states the report.

“In turn, this will result in job creation… through the envisaged establishment of coffee shops, restaurants, speciality stores, gyms, sports centre conferencing and banqueting.”

The success of these recommendations though “depend largely on variables such as the operator, operating agreement, market demand and occupancy”.

At least R60-million would have to be spent on refurbishing sections of the stadium before tenants could move in.

The report forecasts tenants could potentially generate R31-million annually from office and retail space rentals.

“This is a significant source of revenue which will contribute towards the maintenance and running costs of the stadium. The balance is expected to be generated from… the development of suites, commercial parking, advertising, hospitality facilities and development of the Granger Bay Boulevard site.”

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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