Cape Town Stadium is now home to the DHL Stormers rugby team

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The Cape Town Stadium has officially become the permanent home of the DHL Stormers rugby team after an agreement was reached following years of negotiations.

The stadium was built for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

The anchor tenant agreement with Western Province Rugby could see it become financially independent. As anchor tenant, the DHL Stormers will have their base at the world-class stadium for a 99-year period.

The agreement will see 12 to 15 matches per year from Western Province rugby and could include any Springbok test matches. It’s a watershed moment for the rugby team.

“Making this their home, already we can see the crowds coming back. You know we are expecting 30 000 people on Saturday against the sharks, both teams without springboks. When last and how did we think that could ever happen so to Dobo and the role he plays –  thank you so much! And to the stadium, this is a fantastic venue; this is probably the best-situated venue in world sport. The views that we have of the mountain and of the sea, this is Cape Town,” says Western Province Rugby Administrator, Rian Oberholzer.

While the Stormers will have the first option for use, the stadium’s mandate is that of a multi-purpose centre.

“There will still be PSL matches here and will still have concerts and other events here. It’s part and parcel of the makeup to make a stadium financially viable, it’s very important that you do have that there. And I’m happy to say that already our 23/24 schedule is basically full, so we now need to try and find dates to get events in here so that’s great. Looking forward, we’re now in the implementation phase of the ATA, the anchor tenant agreement,” explains Cape Town Stadium CEO Lesley de Reuck.

With the primary anchor contract in place, the stadium is on course to become financially independent.

“This stadium is owned by the people of Cape Town and we want it to be financially sustainable unlike other stadia around the country where they constantly require bailouts, we want this stadium to stand on its own two feet and look after itself and I’m extremely proud that in the next year or so, and a journalist must tell me if there are any other stadia like this in the country, but I think this will be the only world cup stadium that stands on its own two feet when its booking sheet is full and that’s very nearly the case,” says Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

For the rugby team, the finality of a home ground is a source of inspiration. DHL Stormers Head Coach, John Dobson says, “Obviously on the esoteric level what it looks like and the feel and the quality stadium but also what’s happening inside the stadium. I’m not talking about the field, … we all thought we couldn’t replace the Newlands atmosphere and my sense is that we very strongly create it. It’s a bit different, but it’s brilliant it’s a future one. We can’t get them off the field after a game when they are interacting with the crowd so for this now to be our home and to be formalised, just on behalf of the team, extremely grateful.”

There is no clarity at this stage as to the fate of the Newlands Stadium, the former home ground of Western Province rugby.