The Times reports Durban is positioning itself to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Although a decision on the host city for the 2020 Games won’t be made until 2013, the newspaper reports Durban is busy with a series of strategic moves to make the best use of its sporting resources – the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the Kings Park sports precinct around it.
Durban will be hosting the International Olympic Committee’s 2011 Congress, and Mike Sutcliffe, Durban’s city manager, said the congress is central to the city’s post-World Cup sporting ambitions.
He said last week, “we have a ‘2010 and beyond’ strategy that involves looking at potential events, whether they be Commonwealth Games or Olympics, coming to what we believe is a world-class African city. At the same time I must stress that we haven’t officially put our hat in the ring as far as the Olympics are concerned because that decision must take place at national level”.
The Times reports that the decision to host an Olympic Games involves the national and provincial government; there is circumstantial evidence pointing to Durban using 2010 and the IOC congress the following year to leverage international sentiment towards a 2020 bid.
The Moses Mabhida Stadium, the venue for the 2010 World Cup, has a seating capacity of 70,000 and reportedly will be downgraded to 54,000 after the event is over.
Sutcliffe said that although the stadium won’t have an athletics track during the World Cup, provisions have been made to add one.