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Stormers’ new home will help them thrive

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There’s just something about the Cape Town Stadium, and with 2021 fast approaching, it’s a venue that could do a lot for the Stormers and Western Province as well

The Cape Town Stadium might just be the boost that the Stormers, and Super Rugby, need. This weekend marked another successful weekend of Cape Town Sevens.

While the Blitzboks didn’t replicate their Dubai success in the final, it was a good weekend for them nonetheless, and one that again highlighted the unbeatable atmosphere the Cape Town Sevens – and the Cape Town Stadium – bring to the Mother City.

During the WP Rugby awards two weeks ago, Western Province Rugby Union chief executive Paul Zacks spoke about next season being the last one at Newlands, and while there will naturally be a wave of emotions involved, for some of the older players, especially, this could be the start of something new, something better, for the troubled union and the struggling Stormers.

The Cape Town Stadium is a more suitable fit, that much has been established, but it could also provide a major boost in terms of public appeal.

The vibe at the Cape Town Stadium, especially when it’s packed, is something else. If you’ve ever been a part of a single weekend of Sevens festivities in Green Point, you’d know that all too well.

Sure, the entertainment, the dress-up element and the guaranteed party certainly add to all of that. This weekend, for example, there were the normal live performances and fan-engagement activities between games, while fans also got to see their heroes of the Sevens past.

Last week, the Blitzboks celebrated 20 years of the World Sevens Series as their captains over the last two decades shared memories from their time on the circuit at a Captains dinner at the stadium, and during the action over the weekend, those former skippers were acknowledged as they walked onto the Cape Town Stadium pitch, cheered on by the crowd.

The Cape Town Sevens is always special, and I don’t think it would be the same at any other venue in South Africa.

There’s just something about the Cape Town Stadium, and with 2021 fast approaching, it’s a venue that could do a lot for the Stormers and Western Province as well.

I’d be surprised if it didn’t, to be honest.

Yes, I mentioned the entertainment and the partying and the role it plays in that vibe.

I also realise that a single tournament played over one weekend a year will always be more impactful and draw a bigger crowd than games played at the same venue in a competition that stretches over 21 weeks.

Yes, to a certain extent, it will be a different crowd to the one that the Sevens weekend has magnetically drawn so successfully in recent years, but the stadium itself has come to be known for that vibe, and that’s not suddenly going to change just because different competitions are played there (remember how big the SuperHero Sunday at the start of this Super Rugby season was at the very same venue?).

It’s one of the main ingredients in the party that is the Cape Town Sevens, after all.

So, as we look back on another lekker successful Cape Town Sevens tournament, let’s look forward to what it can do for the Stormers and Super Rugby.

Let’s look forward to that Sevens vibe, a vibe that can definitely give Super Rugby the boost it needs.