The stumbling blocks in the way of WP's move to CT Stadium

Cape Town Stadium (File)
Cape Town Stadium (File)

Cape Town - Western Province's move from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium is on the cards, but there are a few stumbling blocks still standing in the way. 

Much of the uncertainty has to do with new leadership. 

It has been less than a month since Patricia de Lille resigned as mayor of Cape Town - she has since been replaced by Dan Plato - and on Monday the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) will elect a new president. 

Peter Jooste and Zelt Marais are the two candidates to replace Thelo Wakefield. 

Once all the dust has settled, discussions over the move will pick up again. 

De Lille was the major driving force behind the proposed move with finding ways to make the 2010 Soccer World Cup venue profitable high up on her list of priorities. 

For WP, the move would be purely financial. 

While there would be an injection of funds from the city, the relocation would also allow the WPRFU to free up its property assets in and around the Newlands precinct and generate income through lease hold deals. 

While an agreement in principle between the city and WP has been reached, there is now a new element of uncertainty surrounding the move because of the new players at the table. 

"We don't know what the new leadership wants at the City," Marais told Sport24 on Wednesday.

"We need to look at what economic model is put on the table and we need to then do the cost benefit analysis between the two.

"We shouldn't just look at short-term gains.

"Are we going to create a legacy that will last us for the next 100 years?"

Marais went on to list a couple of demands that WP, under his potential leadership, would want met before they sign off on the move.

"We need to be the anchor tenant. We don't want to be told that there is a concert and we need to move a game or that there is a massive repair to be done that we don't have money for," he said.

"We want them to create a sinking fund so that in the unlikely event that something happens, that fund is available immediately.

"These are the loose ends. We can't live on assumptions … we need sureties."

Marais added that he "can't see this happening in the next two years" and that the possibility of keeping Western Province and the Stormers at Newlands and taking Test matches to CT Stadium is one that will also be explored.  

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