Town – Western Province Cricket on Friday announced plans to upgrade Newlands in a
first phase project that is set to cost the union R750 million.
The development will see four new
office blocks erected on the northern precinct of the stadium which will be leased
out for office space, according to Cape Cobras CEO Nabeal Dien.
Sanlam will be funding 51% of the development while WP Cricket
themselves must raise the funds for the other 49%.
Varsity College have committed to
occupying one of the buildings and will account for around 40% of the area.
The first phase is expected to
end in December 2020.
“There are still some
sensitive agreements that we are busy concluding,” Dien said.
“This is a journey that
started around 10 years ago and the main purpose of this journey was the
sustainability of cricket.”
“We only occupy
revenue-generating opportunities on certain days of the year … so here is an
opportunity to create a 365-day opportunity.”
The long-term plan, and phases
two and three, will see upgrades to the WP Cricket offices as well as
presidents pavilion that will take the project into 2024.
news last week that Cricket South Africa (CSA) was considering implementing a
bidding process where cities and unions would bid for home internationals would
have been a concern for WP Cricket given their commitment to the
The New Year’s Test at Newlands is
easily the biggest money-spinner for the union each year, but implementation of
the proposal would have allowed any city with enough money to host that
According to Dien, however, that
proposal has now been scrapped from CSA’s plans.
“I can inform you that it
was retracted yesterday,” Dien said of the proposal.
“Thankfully that has
happened, because I think that would have been absurd.
“There are certain things
that you can bid for and there are certain things that are already established
premier and marquee events.”
While the commitment will take
the union into significant debt, Dien is confident that enough research has
been done to generate enough funds moving forward.
“I don’t think we would have
gone into this, and neither would Sanlam, unless we saw a viable outcome,”