Cape Town Scores as Indian Premier League Comes to Town

Cape Town has received a valuable economic boost from hosting the first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament

The hugely popular Indian Premier League
(IPL) cricket tournament has not only given Cape Town valuable global exposure, but has also cemented its reputation as a sporting and events destination.

The City of Cape Town was able to provide support such as traffic services and cleansing, at relatively short notice to enable the opening parade to take place through the city’s streets.

Mansoor Mohammed, executive director of the Economic, Social Development and Tourism Department of the City of Cape Town said that the move of the IPL opening ceremony and opening matches from India to Cape Town within four weeks was illustrative of the City of Cape Town’s ability to host events of a global scale.

“The City of Cape Town has adopted a strategy to position Cape Town as a global events city,” he said. “The City (has) also established an event permit office and will soon be establishing a dedicated events safety and security unit. These are a few of the many efforts of the City to position Cape Town as a leading global events city and attract more tourists and create more jobs.”

Worldwide attention was focused on Cape Town for the glitzy parade, during which Bollywood stars mingled with international cricketing heroes such as Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne and Graeme Smith, and our own Kaapse Klopse.

The IPL is the world’s richest cricket league, and was moved from India to South Africa because of security fears due to India’s elections.

The tournament will boost the South African economy by between R1 billion and R2 billion, with the hard-hit tourism industry benefiting the most.

Not only will the cash injection boost the local economy too, but the exposure Cape Town is getting as a result of the tournament will also bring long-term tourism benefits.

“This has been an exciting moment and opportunity for Cape Town,” said Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold. “The event extends our season significantly and is a welcome boost to our local tourism economy.”

Up to 40 000 hotel rooms and 10 000 domestic flights have been booked countrywide, with 10 000 Indian cricket fans expected to visit the country – many of them coming to Cape Town.

Local media and advertising companies are benefiting from a R120 million marketing budget – the largest media spend in South African sporting history.

When the cost of tickets, food, beverages, transport, merchandise and other costs are taken into account, the economic benefits of hosting the IPL will be significant.

About 700 people came from India to work full-time on the preparations, including the events team, television and media crews, and the players, management and support staff of the eight participating teams.

Local companies were hired to assist the organisers with marketing, public relations, advertising, event management, security, entertainment, travel, hospitality and ticket sales, all of which significantly boosted local businesses.

The IPL will also provide R10 million
in scholarship funds to 300 students and 32 schools across the country.

The focus for the first two weeks of the 59-match tournament was on Cape Town, with the opening parade and opening ceremony hosted by President Kgalema Motlanthe, and eight games played at Newlands Cricket Grounds.

Source: City of Cape Town

There are no more IPL games scheduled for Cape Town, but IPL matches continue until the end of May elsewhere in the country. See the remaining games in the 2009 IPL Match Schedule.

See what other major events are being hosted in Cape Town by browsing through our Cape Town Events section.

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