Cape Town opens world class athletics stadium

19 February 2015

The new Green Point Athletics Stadium, upgraded by the City of Cape Town at a cost of R85-million, was officially opened by executive mayor Patricia de Lille on Wednesday.

Young boys and girls who hoped to become the next global athletics icons would now have the opportunity to make that dream a reality, De Lille told assembled guests.

The world-class facility now meets the technical standards set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), De Lille said.

The improvements include a state-of-the-art cobalt-blue tartan track and seating capacity for 4 500 spectators, making the stadium able to accommodate 1 000 more spectators than it did before. It is designed to be accessible by disabled people and has a VIP suite, changing rooms and a large reception area.

Three tenants are to be housed in the facility: the Lions Club, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Athletics Club, and the Western Province Athletics Federation.

The stadium would be available for a range of athletics events – from school athletics days to national athletics competitions.

“The scale and quality of this stadium will mean that learners will be able to perform on the same track as Olympic athletes,” De Lille said.

Olympic silver medal winner Elana Meyer said at the opening on Wednesday that the new facility was “world class and it will inspire youth to join athletics”, The Times newspaper reported. She said the stadium reminded her of the first time she ran as a youngster on a tartan track.

Meyer won silver at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Cape Town has been chosen to host the World Triathlon Series in April. The new stadium will be used for the transition betweeen cycling and running, and for the finish.

“We look forward to welcoming the best 65 men and 65 women triathletes in the world to our city to compete in this prestigious event,” De Lille said.

“We look forward to the loud cheers and to many records being broken right here.”

SAinfo reporter