PE stadium ‘profitable by 2013’

2011-08-19 07:12

Initial fears that the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth would become a white elephant have been allayed, with the stadium generating R11 million in revenue since the Fifa World Cup.

Despite the fact that the city had no PSL soccer team or top-level rugby franchise, officials said the stadium had become the most economically successful of the six stadiums built for the World Cup, The Herald Online reported.

The facility – which cost R2.4 billion to build – costs ratepayers R21 million to operate each year.

However, an investigation into the feasibility of the world-class stadium revealed that Access Management, appointed as the official operator in 2009, had helped generate R11 million in revenue since then, more than halving the running costs for the municipality.

Municipal economic development and recreation services executive director Zolile Siswana confirmed the figures, saying: “In the first year of operation the stadium operators have reduced the maintenance cost to the municipality to R10 million. But in its second year of operation, it is expected the cost will be reduced to a R4 million shortfall.”

Siswana said it was estimated the stadium would break even in the 2012/13 financial year.

“Following the SA Rugby Union’s confirmation that the Southern Kings will be part of Super Rugby in 2013, as well as partnerships with Maritzburg United FC and Jomo Cosmos, the operators have ensured both soccer and rugby are being played at the new stadium.”

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