Stormers in stadium shiftThu, 01 Jan 1970 12:01 AM
The Stormers will make their 'debut' at the new Green Point stadium, to be used for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, when they play a pre-season game there in February.
It was confirmed on Thursday that the traditional friendly between the Stormers and provincial neighbours Boland will take place in Green Point on Saturday, February 6.
The Boland Rugby Union, who play hosts to this fixture, have agreed to move the fixture from their home ground in Wellington to the new Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.
It will be the first time since the mid 1980s that provincial rugby will be played in the Green Point stadium - as it was called, before it's revamp for Soccer World Cup 2010 and being renamed the Cape Town Stadium.
Newlands, which will host a pre-season triangular tournament between the Stormers, Sharks and Western Force in January, will remain the Cape franchises' primary home ground during the Super 14.
The Stormers will kick-off their pre-season campaign against Australia's Western Force on Saturday, January (17.00) at Newlands.
Coastal counterparts the Sharks then face the Force on Tuesday, January 26 (19.00) at the same venue, after which the Stormers will do battle against the men from Natal on Friday, January 29 (19.00).
Despite ongoing media speculation as to the future of Newlands Stadium after 2010, the Western Province Rugby Football Union has made it clear they are not planning to change base.
In a recent statement the WPRFU admitted they had had some discussions about moving to Green Point, but decided against it.
In the statement the WPRFU said: "WPRFU is owned by its affiliate 90 clubs.
"WPRFU owns Newlands and the ground it is built on. There is no debt on the stadium. As such WPRFU has the luxury of choice.
"WPRFU was involved in early discussions as to tenure at the new Green Point Stadium. After investigation it was decided that the commercial case as a tenant, presented at the time, was not more beneficial for WPRFU or its stakeholders.
"At a General Council meeting WPRFU voted unanimously not to move to Green Point Stadium.
"WPRFU as an affiliate of SARU, in terms of SARU's constitution, is guaranteed that test matches run under the auspices of SARU will be played at the home venue of WPRFU."
However, there are still those who are of the believe that political intervention will force the WPRFU to ultimately sell Newlands off at a huge financial loss and take up residency in Green Point.
Last year it was reported that the union were prepared to sell their primary asset, Newlands stadium, to solve their cash-flow problems.
According to reports a major banking group has already indicated that it would be willing to pay ZAR240-million (US$32.3-million) for the Newlands property.
However, that would have been at a loss of more than ZAR100-million (US$13-millionm), based on the book value of the Stadium. That loss would have increased in the past year, considering the slump in the property market and the global financial crisis.
It would also not be financially shrewd at all, considering that the union recently spent plenty of money upgrading the Newlands surface.
Other cost factors, such as securing the surrounding area, and taxes, also played a role in deterring the union's proposed move to Green Point. To become an operator at the new Green Point Stadium would see the WPRFU becoming a tenant and paying rent.
There is also a lot of nostalgia attached to Newlands.