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World Cup stadiums could go unused in South Africa

  • AP, Thursday, August 19, 2010 3:25 AM

South Africa spent an estimated $1.3 billion building and upgrading the 10 stadiums used for the 2010 World Cup, but they are in danger of turning into white elephants.

The situation with the $400 million, 70,000-capacity Moses Mabhida Stadium in Cape Town typifies the problem. Soccer doesn't draw enough fans to make it worthwhile to use the stadium, but its doesn't have enough suites to accommodate local rugby union power, the Sharks. As for cricket, South Africa's other money sport, the field isn't big enough. (Cricket South Africa needed to get special permission to host a Twenty20 game between South Africa and India at the Moses Mabhida Stadium early next year.)

South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins blamed the problem on a lack of forethought. “What we are discussing today should have been discussed before we built the stadiums,” Hoskins said. “It is tragic for us as a nation that we have to act in reverse.”

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