A New Era
20 years after opening their doors at Growthpoint KINGS PARK, One Stop Hospitality will be embarking jointly with The Sharks on a new entertainment and hospitality venture from 2015.
Many memories have been accumulated in One Stop's unique hospitality suite since 1994, coinciding with South Africa's reintroduction to international sport and spanning two decades of wonderful rugby and the personalities associated with players, touring teams, coaches, local and visiting supporters, fans and party-goers who would join the after party following each match.
Internationally renowned, One Stop is one of the biggest hospitality venues in the country, accommodating over 500 people on matchdays. Over the years, One Stop has been the entertainment venue of choice for patrons and rugby supporters who flock there after matches to experience the privilege of rubbing shoulders with players, ex-players, coaches and administrators.
There have been legendary stories of the personalities who have visited the venue, where people meet their future spouses (Adrian Garvey met his wife on the dancefloor and the pair still enjoy coming after matches), or just enjoy the opportunity of meeting players.
Members of the media were regular visitors, often the last to leave. One well-known Cape Town journalist left one night at 4am and walked directly to the athletics track to participate in a 42km marathon.
It wasn't uncommon to see James Small sauntering from the changerooms across the empty Kings Park field after a Sharks match, to be mobbed by supporters on his arrival at One Stop. It was quite natural for the fans to join him for a drink, alongside the likes of Cabous van der Westhuizen, Andre Joubert and coach Andy Keast.
After one Test match, members of the England touring team joined in the fun, with big eighthman Tim Rodbar jumping behind the bar with a couple of team mates to serve drinks. If the French were touring, Phillipe Sella (once retired) would bring tour groups to One Stop to meet the local ladies.
Besides being such an institution around rugby, One Stop also supplied rest facilities to Nelson Mandela and Elton John (who set up a lounge and bedroom inside the suite to use inbetween sound checks).
Then there were the notorious monthly 'When Harry Met Sally' parties during the 1990s, and the tamer 21st birthday parties, anniversaries and other private celebrations.
A young man, fresh from Zimbabwe, seeking his rugby fortune at the Sharks Academy, approached One Stop about the possibility of a job. Owing to his rather sizable physique, he was perfectly suited to a role as door man and so became a familiar face to patrons waiting in those endless queues.
Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira has gone on to become one of the most recognisable personalities in world rugby and can also add to that impressive rugby resume: Bouncer at One Stop.
But One Stop and The Sharks now enter a new era which presents new opportunities, a strategy to keep adapting and improving match entertainment.
The Sharks and One Stop Sport and Entertainment CC are embarking on a joint venture that will not only see the One Stop suite relocating within the stadium from 2015 (going up one level), but will enhance and generate a first class experience to customers.
This partnership will ensure that customers will be entertaining their clients in a fully licensed venue, as well as allowing the hospitality market within the stadium to grow.