Since the official opening in December of 2009, the Independent Online reported that South Africa’s Cape Town Stadium has struggled to live up to the financial generator it was built to become.
To date, operating expenses have accumulated a price tag of more than $44.1 million while the stadium’s income adds to a little over $9.1 million. The city blames strict zoning laws surrounding Green Point Common, where the stadium is located.
According to the Independent Online, Cape Town city officials have asked the provincial government to ease up on the restriction blockades. Then, the stadium can reach its commercialization potential. If restrictions were lifted, stadium developers would fill a four-storey commercial block with a four-storey parking lot and a hotel or office building.
“The rest of the common won’t be touched,” area councillor Beverley Schäfer said in the report. Right now, stadium representatives looking to bridge the financial gap are, “between a rock and a hard place,”Schäfer added.
Nonetheless, some Cape Town residents fear that the hotel and parking lot will lead to further commercialization of the land that was given to the public for sport and recreational purposes, the Independent Online reported.
In alignment with the public’s initial opposition to the construction of the stadium, the report notes that members of The Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents Association are against further development.
“This land was given to the residents of the city as public open space for recreation, and this is their inalienable right. It may not be sold off to commercialisation, not even to ‘save’ the stadium. This public open space is more precious to future generations of Capetonians than the stadium,” the association said via a submitted statement.
James Loock, a member of the association who drafted the organization’s statement elaborated on why he and the public would prefer commercial infrastructure projects to stop with the stadium.
“Look at Central Park in New York. That must be some of the most valuable real estate on the planet, but they’re not proposing building on it, because they know how valuable it is as public open space. The same with Hyde Park in London,” he said.
The Independent Online reported that stadium representatives have put out a call to those interested in using the space. Venues within the stadium were said to “suit every need” in an advertisement. The stadium is also open to helping with the creation of “fairy tale weddings.”