Should the WP / Stormers play their rugby at Newlands or move to the Cape Town Stadium?I like tradition. I often don’t see the point of change for the sake of change. I never understood why Newlands wasn’t just upgraded for the SWC 2010. I never thought that spending the Billions of Rands on the new stadium was justified, in fact I still can’t justify why all that money was spent for 5 games. When people called for WP to move from Newlands I resisted. Newlands is the home of rugby, it has tradition and is hallowed ground.
And then I went to the U2 Concert at the Cape Town Stadium. We only left Durbanville at 17h30. We thought that we would be stuck in traffic, but no we had an easy drive into the city. Fair enough it was slowish getting into the Waterfront to park, but not nearly as bad as getting to Newlands. There was ample safe and not that expensive parking. Ok, so there was no space to braai, but then we were going to watch U2 and not rugby. Green Point and the Waterfront offers so many venue’s to eat and drink that most places were 3/4 full and you could get a decent place to sit to have your meal and drinks.
Walking to the Stadium was easy, broad open roads, no railway line to go over, or under in a crush of bodies. Entering the stadium itself was a breeze, lots of turnstiles which are actually big enough to walk through without doing yourself an injury. The access tunnels are broad and seats are easy to find. The seats themselves are reasonably big and comfortable. There are many food and drink vendors offering much the same as what you would get at Newlands, just in a cleaner and better enviroment. The toilets are easily accessable and are huge with many urinals and thrones. The ladies were very happy with the loo’s as well.
There were 70 000 people at the concert, yet it took a matter of minutes to get out of the stadium and 20 minutes after the concert ended I was enjoying a double J&B and soda in the bar at the V&A Hotel. An hour later we had an easy walk to the parkade, and then a quite drive back home. Admittedly I did hear from friends who tried to leave straight after the show that it was a nightmare getting out of the parkade.
I have been to both the Stormers S15 games at Newlands, and when comparing the whole package I can’t see why a deal is not worked out to move to the Cape Town Stadium. I understand that Newlands is owned by WP and prefer ownership rateher than renting the Cape Town Stadium. For me Newlands has outlived its usefullness. Acess is a problem, and you sometimes have to walk for miles [after parking illegally] to get to the stadium. Getting to the stadium in that huge crush of people is neither pleasant nor safe. The stadium is just old and shabby. The toilets are inadequate, with particularly the ladies having to queue up for ages. Getting out takes an age and you are again faced with the crush of people. Unless you go to Kelvin Grove there is hardly a place to get a drink or a plate of food. Driving back through the narrow streets towards the highway takes ages.
Yes, Newlands has atmosphere and tradition, but the Cape Town Stadium is just so much better.