Ricochet News

Sevens a ‘resounding success’: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Dec 18, 2014
Sevens a ‘resounding success’: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

NELSON Mandela Bay Stadium on Thursday announced that this year’s Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament was the best ever in terms of attendance and vibe, calling the event a resounding success.

Unaudited foot traffic figures show that continued year-on-year growth for the event was recorded, an outcome the stadium believes will have positive downstream economic growth effects for ratepayers, tourism authorities and business owners in Port Elizabeth should the South African Rugby Union (SARU) decide to extend the host city’s contract.

“Sevens attendance increased by 8% compared with the previous year,” said Chantal du Pisani, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Chief Executive.

“On Saturday 26 537 spectators visited the stadium. On Sunday numbers soared to 36 504, bringing the total number of spectators this year to 63 041, which was up from last year’s 58 569, ensuring that the 2014 Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was our biggest yet and a resounding success,” she said.

Du Pisani said the event has gone from strength to strength, and has expressed her appreciation for “all-round support from the public, private sector, local tourism officials and sporting authorities”.

“Through our collective efforts, we are ensuring that the stadium continues to be a world-class destination for global sporting events and income-generating asset for residents and business owners of Nelson Mandela Bay.” 

Du Pisani said that the Sevens has been a significant driver of economic growth for the city since 2010.

“In 2012, the total economic impact for Nelson Mandela Bay was R154-million with 500 temporary and permanent jobs created.  Last year, this figure increased to R217-million which delivered 700 temporary and permanent jobs for 2013 tournament.

“We are confident that the figures will increase along a similar growth trajectory for this year’s tournament.  The economic impact assessment of the 2014 Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens will be released early next year by SARU,” she said.

Du Pisani said SARU, global sponsor HSBC and national sponsor Cell C were pleased with the operational support offered by Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this year.

Along with the 41% year-on-year cost reduction its annual operational deficit, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is on track in terms of its business strategy.

“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to rugby fans, business owners, the tourism and hospitality sectors that have directly and indirectly supported the Sevens either as fans, hospitality and recreational hosts and tourism ambassadors. We consistently go the extra mile to ensure that all fans enjoy the stadium and it’s offering in a safe and secure environment.”

Du Pisani said she believes that Nelson Mandela Bay is in a good position for a possible renewal to be the South African host city for the HSBC Sevens World Series. The announcement on the Sevens host city will be made early next year by SARU.

Photo caption: 

BLITZKRIEG:  The Blitzbokke celebrated Cell C victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Photo: Martin Seras Lima