The scope of the interactions have yet to be disclosed. But Chantal du Pisani, chief executive of Access Management, which runs the stadium on behalf of the municipality, did reveal that a major milestone in the plans would be to partner with some of the leading companies in the area to maximise the stadium’s location between the lake and the ocean and to extend its use beyond the stadium bowl.
Du Pisani said the stadium was effectively open for business as it sought to establish new partnerships that would see it maximise various opportunities and events.
The aim was to capitalise on Port Elizabeth’s title as the water sports capital of South Africa by hosting events similar to Ironman SA, the Splash Festival and the Ocean Racing Series at the North End Lake precinct.
“This will further generate economic benefits and ensure usage of the well-known water sports venue with other additional benefits that include marketing and exposure benefits, as well as social and CSI [corporate social investment] impacts.” Du Pisani said the stadium was a “perfect candidate” for the promotion and development of entrepreneurial ideas that could create an economic buzz around the district where the stadium was situated.
It already serves as a catalyst for economic development in the city and is a tourist destination that has been instrumental in creating jobs and business opportunities. “This makes corporate social investment an integral part of the stadium’s commitment to sustainable development and a primary terrain for branding and enhancing the company’s reputation as a responsible corporate citizen and valued partner among the communities we operate in,” she said.
Between 2011 and 2013, the stadium generated more than R600-million in economic impact for the city.