DURBAN – The councilors said that sports clubs that receive financial support from the municipality of eThekwini should use the Moses Mabhida stadium as the main venue to help the stadium generate income.
Councilors spoke at the municipality’s executive committee meeting this week. Exco approved a resolution for the City to renew its three-year sponsorship and partnership agreements with the Sharks rugby franchise and the Golden Arrows and AmaZulu football clubs. The resolution has yet to be approved by the full city council.
According to a document submitted to the committee, according to the agreement, the Sharks would receive R4 million per year, while Golden Arrows and Amazulu would each receive R3.5 million per year.
The document stated that the purpose of the partnerships was to market the city locally and internationally and promote the use of some of its facilities.
“The main objective of the partnership with national brands is to leverage and promote the Durban brand for local economic development … using the teams and its brands to promote ‘Destination Durban’ as a world-class tourist destination. , while playing the role of Durban Brand Ambassadors. “
Some exco advisers said the city would have to negotiate with the clubs to commit to using Moses Mabhida because the stadium was underutilized and became a financial drain for the municipality.
It was noted that although the Sharks have played about three games at Moses Mabhida, they have said there are logistical challenges in using the site, while the Golden Arrows have their offices there and Amazulu had used the stadium before.
Councilors said before the city approves the deals, it needs to extract real concessions in terms of using the stadium.
AD adviser Nicole Graham said the stadium is underutilized and at risk of becoming a white elephant.
“We have to ask ourselves what are we getting in return, we have to ask ourselves if these clubs are going to use Moses Mabhida.
“While for a club like the Sharks, R4m is not a lot of money, money is our currency. Before giving money, we should say that’s what we want. We have to have real big games in the Moses Mabhida stadium, like the chiefs and the pirates, this is how we can save this stadium.
IFP adviser Mdu Nkosi said that while the city was getting marketing exposure from the association with clubs, there had been promises that clubs would occasionally use the Moses Mabhida stadium.
Deputy city manager for economic development Philip Sithole said the city will negotiate for clubs to use the stadium. He said the city was saving a lot of time through its association with the clubs – for example, with the Sharks, the city was getting international exposure because the club was an international brand.
Golden Arrows chairman Mato Madlala has said they can’t make football exclusive by keeping it only at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“We bring games to Mabhida and other areas. If we are going to play football only in Mabhida, what about the inhabitants of the commune who cannot afford to get to Moses Mabhida but can walk to the stadiums close to them? We cannot make football exclusive, ”she said.
Novashni Chetty, head of marketing and public relations for the Sharks, said they were not aware of the board discussion.
Sandile Zungu, President of AmaZulu, said: “AmaZulu FC is very pleased with the relationship it has with the Municipality of eThekwini through Durban Tourism.”
He added that if the relationship could be strengthened by the club using Moses Mabhida for the long haul, they would consider it.