BIG PLAYERS are again vying for the rights of the Green Point Stadium: the new bids for commercial opportunities are in.
The City of Cape Town announced last week that the bids received were from Investec Bank Ltd; Thebe Exhibition and Projects Pty Ltd and Intelligent Venue Solutions Pty Ltd in a joint venture as Stadium Management SA Cape Town; and the Sail Group Ltd.
Thebe Exhibition and Projects, South Africa's largest black-owned tourism company, is headed by Andisa Ditle, Godfrey Morley, Carol Weaving, and Jeffrey Squire, who lives in Llandudno and has over 20 companies, mostly to do with tourism. UK businessmen Andrew Moss and Adrian Pollen, as well as Mark Ransom and Russell Stephens, are the directors of Intelligent Venue Solutions.
Among the 11 directors of Sail Group is Bulelani Ngcuka, the first national director of Public Prosecutions and husband of deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Also part of the directorship is Morne du Plessis, former South African rugby player and coach.
Pieter Cronje, the City of Cape Town's spokesperson for the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament, has confirmed that Investec, Facilities Management Africa, Bustque, and The Consortium were the original bidders last year but as some of the bids were incomplete and not fully compliant, the city had to re-advertise for tenders.
"One of the bidders had several conditions and the city couldn't award such a conditional bid," says Cronje. This time around, bidders could make an offer to buy the naming rights of the stadium, or tender to operate the multi-purpose facility after 2010, or bid for both opportunities.
"The submissions are being categorised according to the nature of the bid and then scrutinised for completeness, as well as legal and policy compliance.
"No financial figures can be released at this stage," Cronje adds.
The bids will be assessed by a bid evaluation committee before the bid adjudication committee makes an award. This process is expected to last around four weeks, but may be extended depending on negotiations with successful bidders.
According to Cronje, the city is looking to appoint an operator that is "successful and experienced", and that can maximise the use of the stadium for its upkeep and that of the surrounding Green Point Common. "We want the stadium to pay its own way so that it doesn't become a burden for ratepayers," says Cronje.
The estimated completion cost of the stadium is sitting at R3,9 billion, of which the city has a R580 million shortfall. According to Cronjé, this is not an isolated situation. "It is a national problem which all the stadiums are experiencing due to escalating costs of raw materials and the overheated construction industry undertaking a multitude of infrastructure projects across the country."
Cronje, however, stresses that the city has a plan to close the funding gap.
This will be done through the following: the sale of the naming rights; any potential income from an operator; and the sale of some 250 corporate suites once the operator has been appointed, as well as keeping an eye out for the most cost-effective construction solutions during construction without compromising safety, FIFA or environmental requirements.
The city has also negotiated with FIFA to gain a portion of the ticket sales for the various matches.
And if this is not enough to bridge the gap, the city will approach national and provincial government for more funding.
The stadium is set for completion by 15 December 2009.