Avoiding white elephants at SA 2010

Sport Business News

FIFA is concerned that some of the stadia being built in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will become white elephants unless organisers take steps now to guarantee future use.

A 90, 000–seat stadium in Durban and another 68, 000–seater in Cape Town are nearing completion a year ahead of the first World Cup to be held in Africa. Impressively designed, they will stage the semi–finals as well as earlier games in the 64–match event. But there are fears among locals that, with local rugby clubs showing little or no interest in using the grounds, the cities will be left with venues that no one will use. " This is something we have discussed and we have to work on with the organisers post World Cup, to make sure that, as part of the legacy and use of infrastructure and all that will be built for the World Cup, will not become the white elephants and we will not see again what's happening sometimes at Olympic cities, " FIFA secretary–general Jerome Valcke said. " We have to work together and with the African Confederation of Football to make sure that the stadiums will be used in the future. " The Durban stadium, which has a spectacular arch over the top, is next to Kings Park, home of the Sharks rugby club, which has a 47–year lease on its own traditional home. Companies which have commercial links with the Sharks say they don't plan to switch over to the new ground. The stadium in Cape Town is in conflict with Newlands, home to Western Province and, despite its age, considered one of the most intimidating in rugby. FIFA president Sepp Blatter told the Associated Press that he was confident the World Cup stadia would be used for other events, not only football, after the 2010 tournament. " These modern stadiums are also multifunctional. You can do something else, not only football or rugby, " Blatter said. " You can also have exhibitions, concerts, etc. It's a question of organisation. And you have to use these for that. If you put in so much money only for a football stadium, only the very rich people, they can afford it. Where are these rich people now? ","43

Additional information