Final decision on Newlands Stadium set to be revealed by WP Rugby
NEWS: The South African rugby public is finally set to get answers or closure relating to Newlands Rugby Stadium.
Those answers will be revealed in a press conference hosted by the Western Province Rugby Football Union on Thursday.
Rian Oberholzer, appointed by SARU in October 2021 as the administrator to regularise the affairs of the WPRFU – when the organisation was placed under administration, will be addressing the media on “the future of Newlands Stadium and the effect thereof on Western Province Rugby and the Stormers”.
He will be joined by WPRFU General Manager Danny Jones and Stormers head coach John Dobson.
The Stormers stopped playing at the iconic venue in 2021 and it has since been left to decay.
The stadium was to be placed on the market in a sealed bidding process in February last year with Oberholzer retaining an external consultancy to ensure the process is transparent and judged entirely on commercial merits.
However, that whole process was put on the back burner when former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen stepped in.
In June 2022, Claassen launched his ‘Save Newlands Rugby Stadium‘ campaign that applied to the Western Cape government to declare Newlands a ‘heritage site’ in order to ensure the historical stadium doesn’t get demolished.
Things have not gone to plan for the Bok legend after he received some serious pushback from the very communities he hoped would support him.
Mogamat Stuurman, a man very active in the Western Province club communities, wrote a scalding letter to Claassen.
In his letter, Stuurman suggested Claassen do some ‘research’ to find out how Newlands was used to “undermine people of colour” in the Western Cape.
“Newlands is no heritage site, it’s a place where coloured people were treated like the scum of the earth, and I support it being developed or demolished,” said Stuurman.
Thursday’s press conference with Oberholzer is set to reveal a final decision on the matter.