Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium’s events line-up was significantly boosted by SA Rugby Union recent announcement that the Eastern Province Kings would be included in an expanded version of the Premier Division of the Absa Currie Cup competition this season.
ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division inclusion is not only a huge boost for Eastern Province Rugby but also for the stadium, Chantal Du Pisani, Stadium chief executive said today.
“The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is positioning itself as more than just a sports arena, but sport is our anchor activity, so we are incredibly pleased that SA Rugby Union has seen the value in nurturing the growth of this proudly South African pursuit in the Eastern Cape,” said Du Pisani.
“The Eastern Cape is a talent incubator – particularly for black rugby players – and the Currie Cup inclusion will go a long way to ensuring talent is nurtured and grown. Naturally, as stadium management, we are happy that this is taking place from within the stadium, home of the Eastern Province Kings.”
The Eastern Province Kings have been included in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division this year after the proposal to expand the Premier Division from six to eight teams was passed during a Special General Meeting in Johannesburg on 13 February.
The stadium is also hoping that its season ticket and suite-holders find additional value in the extended sports diary now on offer at the stadium. This includes a line-up of Southern Kings friendly clashes against top franchises, the Currie Cup premier division on-field battles, an international rugby test, the Cell C NMB 7s tournament, concerts and soccer matches.
EP Rugby CEO Charl Crous was elated when he heard the news saying this was “great news” for the province. Crous added that there was a need for “top flight rugby” in the province.
Du Pisani added that the inclusion will also assist in making the stadium economically sustainable in the long term: “We are one of the most viable stadiums in the country and as a result of Currie Cup Premier Division inclusion our calendar offering has deepened, further contributing to the long-term sustainability of the stadium.”
The stadium boasts a “dynamic rugby calendar” between now and 2016 when it is anticipated that the Southern Kings will re-enter Super Rugby.
“We are also focusing our attention on attracting a PSL team and profiling soccer at a higher level, but other events are also a driving force in our sustainability and we are campaigning to become the event venue of choice for conferences, weddings, launches, concerts and a range of other productions,” Du Pisani said.
“The stadium as the largest single metro asset – and hence the people of the city – we encourage people to make active use of this asset either as an events venue or as a place to have exhilarating sporting experiences.”
The full-service and world-class stadium boasts an impressive array of venues within the precinct. The venue selection includes: the change rooms, presidential suite, field, mixed zone, press conference room, Prince Alfred Park and the large, picturesque banqueting venue with a view of the North End Lake, known aptly as the World of Windows.
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