FILE: Cape Town City owner John Comitis says the club has incurred a loss playing at Athlone and Cape Town Stadiums. Photo: Tracey Adam
CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City FC owner John Comitis plans to build a new soccer stadium in the city by 2019.
Comitis told the Weekend Argus that the plans are drawn up, and the City of Cape Town confirmed it had received the proposal to build a stadium.
Stuart Diamond, the city’s mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, said it welcomed Cape Town City’s proposal and was awaiting a formal application. Michel Comitis, the club’s commercial director, said the 10 000-capacity stadium would cost approximately R250million.
He said that Cape Town City wanted to build the stadium to establish its own homeground – and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) club was running at a loss playing its home games at Athlone and Cape Town stadiums.
“The game-by-game financial loss increases at Athlone Stadium, compared to Cape Town Stadium, due to slightly higher costs and lower attendance numbers,” Michel said. “We feel it is a direction all clubs in the PSL should consider.
“Our primary goal is to find a facility where we can train and call our home. To date, we do not even have one field.”
He said the club has paid R1.6m to the city for its facilities. “By playing games at these facilities we have endured R600 000 in losses. These numbers only represent the amounts between the start of the season and now. They will rise by the end of the season.”
John Comitis revealed that the stadium proposal had been prompted by an “entertainment culture in the city”. He said he wanted to exploit this opportunity and would build the stadium with a capacity of 10 000 because “that’s realistic to me”.
“If it bursts at the seams, then we can look at other plans. At this stage, there isn’t a club in the country that can get 10 000 fans at a game – not even Chiefs or Pirates in their home games,” Comitis said.
By comparison, Cape Town Stadium has a 55 000-capacity, Newlands rugby stadium has 51 900, Athlone Stadium has 34 000 and the Bellville Velodrome has 7 800.
Comitis said he had thought about building a stadium in Cape Town “for some time”, but promised that “in 24 months, you will see something concrete”.
Diamond added: “Engagement is at a very early stage… but we look forward to their (Cape Town City’s) application.”
The Weekend Argus/Iol News