Three entities are reportedly in the running to become the first naming rights sponsor of Cape Town Stadium, with a number of tenders issued last year set to be decided soon.

The Times Live website said the 2020-21 business plan for the 55,000-capacity stadium, which was developed for South Africa’s staging of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, details that an initial seven bids for the naming rights have been reduced to three, with officials seeking R16m (£784,000/€858,000/$920,000) per year from the contract.

The plan adds that naming rights revenue, plus around R23m per year from incoming anchor tenant Western Province Rugby Union, will reduce the stadium’s city council grant from more than R71m in the current financial year to R29.3m by 2022-23.

Seven new tenders for the stadium were issued in October, with contracts up for offer including concessionaires to sell food and non-alcoholic drinks; liquor; a pouring rights partner with exclusive rights to sell beer and cider; preferred products providers and a ticketing partner for events at the venue.

In January, it was revealed that Cape Town Stadium last year cost R79.6m to maintain, with the City of Cape Town doubling its contribution. However, authorities are confident that the venue can shed its ‘white elephant’ image thanks to the deal with Western Province Rugby.

The City of Cape Town took on management of the facility, developed at a cost of R4.4bn, back in 2018 under the Cape Town Stadium banner. The development of Cape Town Stadium was affected by the deadlines involved in delivering the venue for the World Cup. The City had to start construction before re-zoning the land it sits on. Consequently, the stadium has been effectively restricted to just sports and leisure use.

This restriction meant that any commercial usage outside sport and leisure required special exemptions or long-winded bureaucratic permit applications. However, the new Cape Town Stadium operating entity has its own board of directors and can take operational decisions without direct city authority delay or interference. It can also undertake more commercially-oriented deals.

In November, it was announced that Western Province Rugby will move to Cape Town Stadium in 2021. The City of Cape Town’s Council approved a binding heads of agreement between the city, Cape Town Stadium and Western Province for the team to make the venue its home from February 1, 2021. The deal will potentially span the next 99 years.

Image: Cape Town Stadium