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Big screens for live 2010 soccer

Kick-off for multi-million rand soccer stadium in Bay

RURAL communities will be getting a taste of live World Cup Soccer action and also gain a share of the economic development opportunities created by 2010.
On Tuesday, uThungulu District Municipality confirmed the planned implementation of Fan Festival Sites across Zululand which will include big screens, enabling all communities to watch the 2010 soccer matches live.
The sites will subsequently use the facilities for future sports events.


Phases
The District Municipality’s 2010 World Cup Soccer Project is to be built in three phases, as per the three-tiered transfer of funding from national government, over the three financial years of 2006 to 2009.
This will involve the building of a soccer field, change rooms, parking areas, a 2 000-seater stadium, tarred athletics track, turnstiles, gates, perimeter fencing, landscaping, lighting and grass seating areas.
The stadium is anticipated to be completed six months before 2010.
uThungulu Deputy Municipal Manager Danie Lubbe said, ‘We are officially in the line-up with plans to construct a multi-million rand soccer stadium in Richards Bay for the 2010 World Cup Soccer, and the players are ready to kick-off with tenders to create a FIFA-approved venue that will ultimately seat more than 10 000 spectators.’

Big revenue in the pipeline
At a joint meeting of uThungulu District’s Exco and Planning Portfolio Committee, members decided to move forward at speed to ensure a well-coordinated and professional approach to the 2010 project.
Foremost on the agenda was the formation of a Task Team to enter into negotiations with the City of uMhlathuze regarding the most critical issues surrounding the project, such as funding, and operations and maintenance.
As owner of the Regional Sports Complex where the stadium is being constructed, uMhlathuze stands to benefit considerably from future revenue emanating from use of the stadium.
The City’s financial input for the construction needs to be clarified, as well as its intentions regarding the future operations and maintenance of the venue.

Training camps in Bay
With regard to the sports stadium in Richards Bay, Lubbe said the first portion of R7-million had been received from national government, but that the total amount of R25-million would never be sufficient to build a fully-fledged multi-purpose sports facility with indoor and outdoor facilities.
‘The approach is therefore to secure as much as possible additional funding via the National and Provincial government funding departments, donor funding (funding institutions) and the business sector,’ he said.
The District is also eager to learn as to which participating soccer countries would be in line to visit uThungulu for either training camps or practice matches during the World Cup, as this could assist the tourism sector to prepare tour operators and guides to speak the relevant languages and conduct research into the needs and characteristics of their prospective visitors.
The municipality is to engage FIFA and SAFA to lobby for the top-placed countries to utilise the District as a training camp.

Source:  Tanya Waterworth