Western Province’s move from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium has been “finalised in principle” but has not yet been signed off.
That is the word from union president Zelt Marais, who has also expressed full confidence that the deal will be concluded by the time the Stormers play in the Rainbow Cup, which is expected to get underway in April.
SA Rugby on Friday also released its scheduling for what are now being called “preparation fixtures” before the Stormers, Lions, Sharks and Bulls join the existing PRO14 sides to play in the Rainbow Cup.
The Stormers will play two home matches during that four-week period – one against the Cheetahs on 28 February and the other against the Lions on 27 March.
When asked what the status of the move was, Marais revealed that he was expecting the move to take place smoothly.
“The agreement in principle has been finalised and is now with the lawyers to cross the Ts and dot the Is,” Marais wrote in an email.
WP Rugby is set to be the anchor tenant at the stadium and, in October, it was confirmed that the union’s title sponsor DHL had bought naming rights to what will become known as DHL Stadium.
Marais added that, if it was required, the Stormers would still be able to play games at Newlands until such time as the Cape Town Stadium deal was finalised.
“But it is unlikely that would be required,” he added.
In terms of the current situation between WP Rugby and Flyt Property Investment and how that will impact plans to develop Newlands, Marais would not comment. “The matter is with the respective attorneys,” he wrote.
The two parties had entered into a partnership to develop Newlands last year, but that relationship has since turned sour with Flyt now claiming damages from the union. It has not yet been confirmed what WP’s plans for Newlands are now.