Ten reasons why the Cape Town 2010 Fan Walk worked so well
The Cape Town Fan Walk has become one of the talking points of Cape Town’s World Cup experience. The editorial in today’s Cape Argus described it as a ‘masterstroke’. John Robbie of 702 Talk Radio asked Andrew Boraine yesterday to what we as a city owed the success of the Fan Walk. Andrew Boraine listed the following factors as critical:
* We had time to plan properly: The Cape Town Partnership first pitched the idea of a Cape Town Fan Walk in October 2006, after studying the highly successful Berlin Fan Mile, and the inner city fan experience in Cologne. The Fan Walk concept was incorporated into the City of Cape Town’s 2010 planning process from January 2007, thus allowing ample time for design, planning and implementation.
* Proper resources were allocated to the Fan Walk: The City of Cape Town committed sufficient capital expenditure to make the route pedestrian-friendly on a permanent basis. Measures include the provision of pedestrian-priority areas and cycle lanes, lighting, outdoor furniture, trees and directional signage. The two most significant improvements are the at-grade pedestrian crossing on Adderley Street, and the pedestrian bridge over Buitengracht. All upgrading projects were completed on time. The City also allocated sufficient budget for the operation of the Fan Walk on eight match days.
* Proper consultation and communications: Stakeholders along the route, including businesses and residents, were consulted beforehand. A proper communications system was established to keep stakeholders informed of plans and arrangements.
* Good marketing: The Fan Walk was well-marketed beforehand. The CTP 2010 Coordinator, Carola Koblitz, led countless walking tours along the route before the 2010 World Cup to explain the plans. This included a large number of media tours.
* The Fan Walk serves a practical purpose: It runs from the Cape Town Station, a major public transport hub, to the stadium, thus providing a real alternative to car-based access to the stadium. Initially, the Fan Walk was conceptualised as a back-up to the shuttle service. After two matches, it became the preferred option.
* The Fan Walk passes through historically significant areas: The 2,5km route starts in the centre of town, crossing historical streets such as Adderley, St George’s Mall, Long, Loop, Bree and Buitengracht, before turning into Somerset Road in Green Point. It incorporates many old buildings, and follows part of the historical Cape Town shoreline. It runs through St Andrew’s Square, the site of the Prestwich Memorial, as well as through De Waterkant area. Very little FIFA branding meant that the Cape Town character of the walk remained evident. The City of Cape Town’s Heritage Department put well-designed heritage information boards in place along the Fan Walk.
* The Fan Walk was well managed: The City of Cape took overall responsibility for the Fan Walk, and managed the capital investment programme, but delegated much of the planning, coordination and activation of the walk to the Cape Town Partnership. Celebrity Services Africa Events, appointed by the City as the event operator, did an excellent job.
* There was a lot to eat and drink along the way, with a range of prices: Many retailers along the route responded well to the commercial opportunities provided by the Fan Walk, and extended their trading hours. In addition, special kiosks for informal traders were established, which proved to be popular with the fans.
* The entertainment was great fun and well produced: The City of Cape Town’s talent search prior to the World Cup unearthed a range of great local performers. Fans enjoyed the combination of music, stilt walkers, fire jugglers, a flaming vuvuzela, as well as the minstrel parades and performers from the Cape Town Carnival.
* Local participation: Most importantly of all, the Fan Walk provided an opportunity for locals to participate in the World Cup, including those who did not have tickets. In particular, the Fan Walk provided a safe space for families. Capetonians seized the opportunity with gusto.
Local sentiment is perhaps best expressed through this letter which appeared in the Cape Times this morning:
“WHEN the Fan Walk was first mooted I was sceptical as to whether anyone would walk from the station, through town and all the way to the stadium in Green Point -how wrong I was! About 100 000 people walked the Fan Walk on Saturday and not all of them were going to the game. The atmosphere was nothing like I have ever experienced before – throngs of people in a festive mood, everyone united in a common cause.
The excitement was tangible with people dressed up in their team colours, wearing wildly imaginative outfits which would do the Rio carnival proud! Capetonians have been urging each other not to miss the experience and it seems to be having a snowball effect.
We have had a shop in the city centre since 1934 and I can honestly say that the World Cup has been the most amazing public relations exercise for the city Not only have we had visitors from all corners of the globe pay us compliments about our city and the friendliness of its people, but South Africans who have not been into the city centre for years have been astonished at how clean, secure and organised everything is.
A huge thanks and vote of confidence must go to the city council, the Cape Town Partnership and the municipal police. We can really be proud hosts of a very successful World Cup. It would be great if we could work out a way of keeping the Fan Walk as a tourist attraction in the city for future events at the stadium.” - Rose Lemkus, Cape Times, 07 July 2010