I have written and re-written this communication many times and was still not satisfied with how I have framed the idea and concept. On the 12/11/13 my friend Mbusi Dlamini visited me by chance and I asked him for his thoughts and advice.
His praise and criticism left me quite bewildered because I realised that his advice was correct and I did not know what he knew. Nonetheless I have decided to incorporate some of his points that he made clear to me.
He advised me to wait because new faces would appear on the political scene after the elections and he said good ideas come from launching an idea at the right time. He knows that the sports vision I dreamed of where only the casino and Moses Mabhida Stadium have been completed from the plan and vision 18 years ago.
His advice was to offer my knowledge and experience in sport to those that believe we could really put Durban and KZN on the world map forever. Our new leaders are planning to capture the Olympic games for Durban and KZN some time in the future.
I have changed many of the points I made to attempt to justify the merits of such a plan, starting with the two stadiums, rugby and soccer, which are next door to each other and a good place to start.
My credentials are simple, I am passionate about all sport and what it can do for a community and nation by bringing people together and interacting socially, and I have practised this hobby of mine free.
So tackling the two stadiums, this is what I believe could be a real winner for all concerned to resolve the host of problems we are all facing.
The concept is to allow the Sharks (Pty) Limited to manage and control both stadiums and two different codes under the already famous Sharks brand, rugby and soccer.
Who wins??? Who loses???
1. The boxing match between the City and rugby goes away and becomes a thing of the past, where co-operation and vision will ensure a first class product for the City.
2. The City and the ratepayers save a fortune every year, and over ten years this would be more than the cost of both stadiums.
3. The City fathers could focus on more pressing problems and leave the stadium and the management of sport in the hands of experts and experienced citizens who make a living this way.
4. Jobs would be created for a host of different businesses under one set of leaders (who have already proven themselves).
5. Both sports would grow exponentially because of the professional approach.
6. Imagine having two streams of income and being able to reduce the financial risk by sharing of expertise and costs.
7. The short grass (soccer) and long grass (rugby) will allow both sports to play most weekends without extra costs. There will be the opportunity of using the parking twice over a weekend with two games over a Saturday and Sunday on many occasions.
8. 18 years ago Natal (KZN) rugby sent myself and seven professionals to America and Europe to study professional sports stadiums and all that knowledge is contained in the document lodged with the City titled Durban Sports Vision. It cost R250,000 at that time.
Please read and absorb where doubling the income and reducing overheads is the key to turning the two stadia into profitable businesses that can meet the player and spectator demands for top level sport that is built on a winning culture that the Sharks have created and can do it again for football because their experience and method has been successful.
Thanks to my friend for his advice, and hopefully some leaders will start this first and easy step forward for the citizens of Durban and KZN.