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New home for Stormers as Newlands faces demolition

Financial difficulties have forced the Stormers to quit a venue they own and become anchor tenants at Cape Town Stadium, which was built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Newlands rugby stadium. Picture: WP Rugby

JOHANNESBURG - South African Super Rugby side the Westerns Stormers will play at the iconic Newlands stadium for the last time in 2020 before the oldest rugby stadium in the republic is demolished.

Financial difficulties have forced the Stormers to quit a venue they own and become anchor tenants at Cape Town Stadium, which was built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

A statement confirmed a move that was long anticipated as Newlands also shows increasing signs of age having been built in 1888.

"This is a watershed moment for Western Province rugby as we open an exciting new chapter which will help ensure our financial sustainability," club president Zelt Marais said.

Western Province is the name used by the team when it competes in domestic competitions and changes to the Stormers for the southern hemisphere Super Rugby championship.

Newlands has been a regular Test venue and hosted a 2018 Rugby Championship thriller between South Africa and arch rivals New Zealand, who won by one point.

It also staged the opening match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in which South Africa defeated defending champions Australia en route to winning the competition at the first attempt.

Cape Town Stadium has hosted international rugby, with the Rugby World Sevens staged there from 2015 and attracting sell-out crowds.

The stadium seats 55,000 spectators, 3,100 more than Newlands, whose first match was between two Cape clubs in May 1890.

Apart from Western Stormers/Western Province matches, local top-flight football clubs Cape Town City and Stellenbosch will continue to use the modern stadium.

Cape Town Stadium also hosts concerts and special events to bankroll the upkeep of a ground with major tourist attraction Table Mountain in the background.

Newlands is situated in an upscale suburb and separated by a railway line from a cricket Test venue of the same name, where England will play South Africa in a 3-7 January Test.

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