The beloved Newlands Rugby Stadium will no longer be the home of the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) but it will also not be sold off after the union makes a move to Cape Town Stadium in 2021.
In a recent interview on a popular rugby television show, WPRU president, Thelo Wakefield, expressed the plans for a move to the Cape Town Stadium in 2021 provided the City’s council approves of this proposal.
There has been talk about the union move to the bigger and more advanced Cape Town Stadium recently, but Wakefield has been tightlipped about the possible change of scenery until this week.
Wakefield has now confirmed that the future of the Stadium will involve being revamped to provide space for new business opportunities.
“We will not sell Newlands when we move to the Cape Town Stadium, Newlands will be redeveloped into a business entity which will still be owned by the Western Province Rugby Football Union.”
This also came with confirmation that all rugby operations will be shifted to the Cape Town Stadium and the Stormers and Western Province Currie Cup teams, will play there too.
“The Stormers and the Western Province Currie Cup side will play at the Cape Town Stadium but not next year. It could be the year after that. It would have been 2020, but with the City Council dragging their feet we will now be looking at 2021 to move there but we will not sell Newlands.” said Wakefield.
Many in the Mother City are sad to see the era of Newlands Stadium come to an end, but the move is one that considers the future of the union.
“I know there are emotions involved, but in the end that does not pay the bills. It is inevitable that we move … If our vision is to be the leading union in the world, we must also have world-class facilities,” Wakefield told Sport24.