Sale of Newlands remains on track
NEWS: The sale of Newlands Stadium remains crucial to the future sustainability of Western Province Rugby.
Following the move of Western Province Rugby’s professional teams to their new home at Cape Town Stadium in early 2021, Newlands Stadium has ceased to be a rugby venue.
Binding Heads of Agreement between the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium and Western Province Rugby were approved by the City’s Council in 2019, following an extensive due diligence process and the ratification of the Western Province Rugby Football Union’s General Council.
Western Province Rugby officially started a new era at Cape Town Stadium at the start of the 2021 season, with the Stormers going on to lift the United Rugby Championship trophy in front of their fans at their new home in June 2022.
Since the agreement was put in place over three years ago, Western Province Rugby has been engaged in finalising the sale of Newlands Stadium, which is no longer certified to host rugby matches.
When Western Province Rugby was put under administration by SARU in October 2021, one of the major tasks assigned to the designated Administrator Rian Oberholzer was to finalise the sale of Newlands Stadium.
The latest obstacle to attaining that objective is the proposal to have the stadium declared a heritage site.
With this matter set to be put forward for public input in the near future, Oberholzer has made it clear that there is a lot at stake.
“To be frank, the sale of Newlands Stadium is key to the future sustainability of Western Province Rugby.
“The proposal to declare the stadium a heritage site has the potential to derail so much hard work that has been done to stabilise WP Rugby both on and off the field.
“We have consulted with a heritage specialist who is confident that Newlands Stadium does not qualify as a heritage site, but the upcoming public participation process will also be pivotal in determining the outcome of the proposal,” he said.
Western Province Rugby’s General Manager of Amateur Rugby Danny Jones said that the WPRFU’s General Council voted and decided that the professional teams would play their rugby at Cape Town Stadium over three years ago.
“All of the WPRFU’s proper processes were followed when it was decided that our professional teams would play their rugby at Cape Town Stadium.
“Newlands Stadium cannot currently be used to host rugby matches, but its sale remains crucial to the future of Western Province Rugby and we are hopeful that all stakeholders will do their utmost to ensure that happens,” he said.