Newlands hosts 2009 NAB Cup opener
Thursday, October 30 2008 @ 10:09 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The AFL has confirmed that Collingwood will play West Coast in the NAB Cup (AFL pre-season competition) in South Africa. The clubs will face off at Newlands Cricket Ground, a Test cricket venue in Cape Town. To accommodate the match and other scheduling issues, the first round of the NAB Cup will span three weeks. The full fixture is here.
Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa and the provincial capital of the Western Cape, as well as the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located. Western Cape is one of the four provinces being developed by AFL South Africa. Although participation in Aussie Rules is growing rapidly in South Africa, it will be a challenge to get a large crowd to this match, so hopefully a major media campaign will be used to raise awareness leading up to the game. Newlands hosted Brisbane versus Fremantle back in 1998, drawing 10,000 spectators. It's current seating capacity is 25,000. Regardless of crowd figures, the match will be a tremendous boost for the local players and development staff.
The game is 12pm local time, 9pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings time, on February 7th. It follows the successful UAE match between Adelaide and Collingwood early this year.