South Africa: Durban stadium needs a tenant

source: IOL.co.za

South Africa: Durban stadium needs a tenant Brand new Moses Mabhida Stadium was built for the 2010 World Cup just next to the existing Kings Park. But to date it stands empty most of the time, while its older neighbour gets most of the events. City authorities are hoping to change that – Independent Online reports.

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Moses Mabhida Stadium was to be Durban's most recognised landmark and tourist attraction, especially with its unique skycar (going atop to massive arch and giving a view on the city) and giant swing that allows people to fly just over the pitch. And those still work, but it's sell-out crowds the stadium really needs.

And this hasn't been the case, too much. Although the ground has generated over R200 million ($23m) income over the last two years, bringing events there alone cost R50 million ($6m), not including maintenance andorganisation costs.

Municipal authorities emphasize that Mabhida is not in the red, but it's been suggested on numerous occasions that it in fact is, the city just fears to admit it. Those suggestions may have some merit since mayor James Nxumalo himself began negotiations with rugby club Sharks, the only possible tenant able to fill the new venue regularly.

The only problem is that Sharks, just like their football equivalent in the city, are feeling very comfortable at their current home that lies less than 200 meters away – the Kings Park. It's a football-specific ground unlike its newer neighbour and has more luxury suites that generate most income. Not mentioning that the club own it, while at Mabhida they'd only be tenants.

For the baove reasons negotiations with Sharks already failed once, but the city seems determined to make the move happen and they launch yet another campaign to convince the rugby side. No news of a breakthrough so far, though.

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