World Cup 2023: Two iconic stadiums miss out
On Tuesday World Rugby revealed that South Africa is the preferred candidate to host the 2023 tournament, following a rigorous assessment of the competing bids.
SA took a step closer to winning the bidding process when it edged ahead of France and Ireland as the candidate best able to fulfil the agreed criteria laid out by World Rugby – to deliver a successful and profitable tournament.
The final hurdle will be November 15, when the recommendation will be put to the vote of the World Rugby Council in London.
However, South African Rugby Union CEO Jurie Roux, in a one-on-one interview with Jan de Koning, revealed that Newlands and Kings Park are not on the list of host stadiums.
They will lose out to two stadiums purpose-built for when SA hosted the 2010 soccer World Cup.
Newlands, one of the oldest rugby stadiums in the world, has lost out to the Cape Town stadium in Green Point.
Kings Park, almost just as iconic as Newlands, has lost out to Moses Mabhida Stadium – just across the street from the rugby venue in Durban.
The Western Province and Natal rugby unions have, for a long time, resisted pressure to make a permanent move to the soccer stadiums.
Recently WPRU President Thelo Wakefield suggested they will eventually move to from Newlands to Greenpoint. If that will be before the 2023 World Cup remains to be seen.
The Sharks have been in 'discussions' with the Durban city council and other interested parties about a possible move to Moses Mabhida, but again there is no indication of any time frame.
While South Africa's biggest rugby stadium, Ellis Park, is on the list to host matches during the 2023 World Cup, it has also been revealed that the Final will be played at Soccer City in Soweto – which hosts about 30,000 more spectators than Ellis Park's 62,000 capacity.
Roux said the question of stadiums is "not a curveball".
"We did not include Newlands or Kings Park in our bid," he told rugby365.
"We were clear and transparent to all of our unions on which stadiums we will include and neither Newlands nor Kings Park are part of the bid.
"We opted for Cape Town Stadium and Moses Mabhida."
By Jan de Koning