Cape Town’s DHL Stadium, one of Africa’s premier sports and entertainment venues, continues to implement a range of improvements.
The 62,000-seater stadium in South Africa, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, boasts a truly multipurpose offering that combines sport and live concerts with added-value brand experience for fans, concert-goers, corporate entities and other stakeholders.
The stadium recently added 168 hospitality suites while also making alterations to its existing infrastructure.
DHL Stadium’s new 2,100-seater Business Lounge is aimed at the Sports Fanatic, the Business Networker and the Family of Fans, and membership guarantees ticket holders selected same-seat location in the newly-renovated shared hospitality space spectacularly situated directly above the halfway line.
With the stadium already globally recognised as part of Cape Town’s breathtaking landscape, enjoying the backdrop of the iconic Table Mountain and Atlantic Ocean, it annually plays host to the Cape Town Sevens, one of the most popular events on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series calendar, as well as some of the world’s leading music artists.
The likes of U2, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Michael Bublé, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Lady Gaga have all played to capacity audiences at the stadium, while tennis star Roger Federer’s Match in Africa against Rafa Nadal at DHL Stadium in 2020 set a new world record for crowd attendance at a tennis match, with 51,954 people watching the two greats battling it out on court.
A year later in 2021, the stadium also hosted a total of five matches in the British & Irish Lions rugby tour of South Africa – an incredible achievement given the lockdown still in place in the country.
With Cape Town being a favoured location for international film shoots, the stadium has become sought after for its interesting angles, sets and backdrops. From the Stadium Bowl, pitch, tunnels and podium to the parking lot, forecourt and passages, it is cinematically versatile, and has already appeared in many commercial and full-length feature films.
Where DHL Stadium has truly stood out, however, is in the areas of innovation and sustainability.
DHL Stadium CEO Lesley de Reuck said:
DHL Stadium is a world-leading multi-purpose facility with a technologically advanced intelligent and sophisticated Building Management System–Human Machine Interface (BMS-HMI).
The operating system ensures that all facility operations are centrally controlled and operated with automated monitoring and control to stadium systems. These include fire, CCTV, access control, air-conditioning, ventilation, plumbing and drainage, electrical, lifts and sprinklers.
The operating system accesses its own servers and incorporates graphical representation on a virtual platform, indicating respective stadium levels as per its built design. The systems consist of a wide range of network control units, data analytics and safety and security features.
Africa is a highly complex environment where maintaining stadiums sometimes presents a major challenge given limits on funding and resources. Stadiums on the continent also struggle to implement the use of renewable energy as a result of high global costs and countries’ dependence on fossil fuels.
Yet DHL Stadium is meeting these challenges by developing a comprehensive maintenance programme that protects the value of stadium assets through corrective and preventative maintenance while ensuring financial prudence, operational efficacy and environmental sustainability.
These programmes have given rise to a state-of-the-art intelligent building that is able to host a multitude of world-class events, whether they are sport, concert or corporate-based. Each aspect of the stadium meets the highest international standards, while the asset also recently finalised its
The Environmental and Event Sustainability Policy directive and strategy aims to substantially reduce its carbon footprint and energy consumption in the next three years.
The Covid-compliant venue has also developed operational models that have allowed it to remain event-ready.
During the pandemic, it rolled out the use of a QR health ID code for stadium staff and specific events, while encouraging event organisers to ensure online ticketing solutions.
To this end, DHL stadium boasts outstanding access capabilities thanks to its partnership with SKIDATASouth Africa.
In 2020, the company introduced a host of new technologies, including “Touchless” with a “Wave” to obtain a parking ticket, a ticketless” Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) solution for access and egress to parking garages, and “Cashless” Ingenico Tap & Go and Chip & Pin devices installed on automatic payment machines that accept credit and debit card payments.
It also developed its “Scan to Pay” via a Mobile Smart Phone and the Masterpass App. These technologies have propelled DHL Stadium into the future, further confirming its status as one of the world’s great stadiums.
Now that the worst of Covid-19 has passed, DHL Stadium is looking forward to hosting a number of marquee events later this year.
In September, pop superstar Justin Bieber will take to the stage, the first big name international performer to do so since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Promoter Big Concerts says Covid-19 took an enormous toll on the live music industry, with artists having no opportunities to perform. However, with the South African government relaxing Covid regulations and ending the national state of disaster, Cape Town is looking forward to once again hosting the world’s biggest names. Big Concerts CEO, Justin Van Wyk said:
Event operational plans are essential to making an event successful and memorable. The venue needs to be well maintained, service providers need to be experienced, and everyone needs to be focused on the fan experience.
DHL Stadium is perfect in this regard. It is a world-class venue in the most beautiful location with its breathtaking views, architecture, culture, amazing restaurants and first-class hospitality. DHL Stadium is also easily accessible to all attending an event. It offers wide-ranging facilities and services, and the core management team has remained with the venue since its inception.
PSAM editor John Sheehan caught up with Yves De Cocker, Managing Director of PitchTecConcept, who explains how his company bridges the gap between sports organisations and the technology used in the playing surface industry.
The interview covers:
Yves 20+ years industry leading experience in the evolution of hybrid grass, trends he has noticed and some of the notable projects he has been involved with
The key reasons for Yves launching PitchTecConcept
Common mistakes often made with playing surface management
The steps he offers as a bridge between the industry and the end user
Advice to clubs looking to maximise their event calendars without compromising on the performance of their playing surface