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Dynamos, CAPS Utd get Rufaro leases

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2024 at 04:47hrs | Views
GIANTS Dynamos and CAPS United are on the brink of securing long-term leases for Rufaro Stadium in a development that could change their fortunes for the better.

The venue, which last hosted a Premiership match in 2019, is under refurbishment and is expected to be ready for top-flight action next month.

All things being equal, the capital's biggest teams will officially re-open the ground when they battle it out in the inaugural Mayor's Cheer Fund Cup on February 11.

While they stand to benefit significantly in the showdown, the Glamour Boys and the Green Machine will immensely change their fortunes, should the envisaged leases see the light of the day.

Harare mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday revealed that the Harare City Council and the two giants have principally agreed on the modalities and will soon be putting everything in black and white.

"The two giants are going to be our key tenants in this stadium. They will share the stadium. We are going to keep the tenants of this stadium at a minimum to preserve it. We don't want to see it reverting to a disrepair state it was almost in.

"We are going to enter into long term lease agreements with these two anchor tenants with the leases going beyond 10 years," said Mafume.

"We will do this so that we can work together in the renovation of the stadium. We have already painted gates in the city end stand green where CAPS United supporters are housed and painted the Vietnam stand blue where Dynamos fans sit.

"The turnstiles are being worked on and we are all doing this with our key tenants in mind. The pitch is immaculate and I can dare say it is the best in the country. Currently, there is no other stadium with lush turf like the one at Rufaro. We are currently firming it up so that it can be in a perfect shape.

"They were purchased by our sister company called Rufaro Marketing.

"The grandstands are fairly modern. They are structurally solid. They can be renovated to make them look nice to the eye".

"The first game to open the stadium will be between Dynamos and CAPS United. They will battle it out in the Mayor's Cheer Fund Cup. The proceeds will go to charity".

Both DeMbare and Makepekepe have welcomed the planned lease with the giants saying they stand to benefit economically and in so many other ways.

Dynamos treasurer Beadle Gwasira said Rufaro has always been the Glamour Boys' home and the lease will be a huge incentive for them.

"Dynamos have built their reputation at Rufaro and the stadium is synonymous with the team," said Gwasira.

"Having a lease will give us a sense of ownership and that means we will draw value from bill-board advertisements and all the other businesses taking place in the stadium.

"Unlike in the past where we could only rent the stadium to play football and have nothing to do with all the other economic activities taking place before, during and after the match, we will obviously be looking at things differently.

"We are a team with so many followers and we can derive a lot of value from having a stadium that we call ours. So this is a really positive development in so many aspects.

"We will be able to set up our own Dynamos shop that sells team regalia and the like and all that will improve our financial standing as a club".

Gwasira said his team is ready to face Makepekepe on February 11.

"We enjoyed some dominance over CAPS United last season, beating them three times in different competitions and we will be looking at maintaining that dominance," he said.

"Look, this will be our first game in 2024 and it is very critical as it will also give the technical team an idea of the material that they have in their fold".

CAPS United executive member Onismas Matsika said there is so much joy in the Green Machine camp over the proposed 10-plus year lease.

"Having a lease for a stadium like Rufaro will be a dream for us. We will take advantage of that and build an empire in terms of our commercialisation drive," said Matsika.

"There are so many financially beneficial undertakings that we have missed because we would be renting a stadium for match purposes only. But with this lease, we stand to derive a lot of value from our brand as CAPS United".

Matsika said Makepekepe will be looking to lift the Mayor's Cup to start the season on a positive note.

Source - The Herald