11 August 2009
With the 2010 Fifa World Cup just over a year away, it’s perhaps too early to be addressing the legacies of the biggest sporting event in African history.
However, it’s safe to say that the tournament will be remembered for the extraordinary stadiums which have risen from the dust in host cities across South Africa.
Millions of man hours and billions of rands have been ploughed into the construction of these facilities, which will accommodate spectators for a wide variety of events long after the tournament has left these shores.
And for people who found themselves in the vicinity of yesterday’s ageing facilities which have been upgraded, or those that have been built from scratch, there’s plenty to celebrate.
Following South Africa’s successful bid to host the tournament, investors saw potential in properties within the immediate vicinity of the stadiums, and this helped drive demand. Many of these investors who bought and sold properties have seen significant returns, while other homeowners are enjoying the rejuvenation of their neighbourhoods.
A new report by the SA Property Transfer Guide on the impact that 2010 stadiums have had on surrounding properties reveals that most areas showed relatively consistent growth in property values.
Properties within two kilometres of Johannesburg’s Ellis Park and Soccer City, which have the added benefit of being close to the soon-to-be-operational Gautrain rapid rail link, were the star performers.
They showed a 111% and 85% increase between 2005 and 2008 respectively.
Properties near Bloemfontein’s Vodacom Park stadium showed a 56% increase, while those outside Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium experienced a 57% growth. Pretoria and Port Elizabeth also performed well.
However, there is a word of caution. Some countries have been left with a number of “white elephants” after investing billions in renovating and building stadiums for large international sporting events.
Whether our stadiums will prove to be sustainable in the medium to long term remains to be seen but, of course, this is likely to be influenced by the levels of success of the World Cup.
Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010