• Cape Town gets SA Sevens

    Cape Town will replace Port Elizabeth as host city for the South African leg of the Sevens World Series.

    PE has held the tournament since 2011, following George's nine-year stint, but Saru has opted not to renew the current contract.

    The two-day event in mid-December will now be held at Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.

    The City of Cape Town and Saru officially made the announcement on Friday.

    'World Rugby wanted global iconic destinations to showcase the new Olympic sport of rugby sevens and a world-class stadium, in a world-class city in the shadow of a world heritage site in Table Mountain provides exactly that,' said Jurie Roux, CEO of Saru.

    'We enjoyed our stay in George and more recently in Port Elizabeth where we were able to grow the event with the help of the municipality and the support of the Eastern Province Rugby Union and Eastern Cape fans and we thank them for that. But as the World Sevens Series has grown – and with it the requirements and the expectations – so we needed to go to the next level and Cape Town allows us to do that.

    'Cape Town is sports-mad and their crowds frequently top the attendance charts in SA and it is a rugby city. The Fan Walk to the stadium and the proximity of entertainment areas such as the V&A Waterfront are an added bonus and will capture and amplify the unique vibe of sevens rugby. It also has the added advantage from World Rugby’s perspective of numerous direct international flights and significant hotel capacity, which will ease some of the logistical issues.'

    The decision to change venues will please long-time sevens rugby sponsor Emirates, which doesn't fly to PE but has two daily flights to Cape Town. While Emirates no longer sponsors the SA tournament (with Cell C taking over), it does still sponsor the Dubai and Scotland legs. World Series title-sponsor HSBC will also be happy to have the SA leg of the tournament based in a city that will be full of tourists during the holiday season.

    Last year's PE Sevens attracted 63,000 spectators to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. According to Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism chief executive Mandlakazi Skefile, an independent impact assessment reflected that the event’s economic impact for the 2013 tournament had been in excess of R217-million.

    Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

    Post by

    Simon Borchardt