Clubs score in venue revamps

WHEN a lot of work was done on some stadiums around the country in the past few years, the Local Organising Committee's explanation was that they were being upgraded as training venues for the World Cup.

WHEN a lot of work was done on some stadiums around the country in the past few years, the Local Organising Committee's explanation was that they were being upgraded as training venues for the World Cup.

But with Fifa releasing the list of where the 32 World Cup teams have chosen to base themselves, venues that cost a considerable amount of money to refurbish - Orlando, Rand, Dobsonville, Athlone and Super stadiums - have not been picked as training grounds.

But for Absa Premiership teams the face lifts are a godsend.

Santos chief operations officer Edries Burton said even though the intended purpose of the projects was not fulfilled, the investment means more since the locals are now the beneficiaries.

"When I first started playing, there was just one stand at Athlone and to see how much change the venue has undergone since those years is great," Burton said.

"The facilities are of a high standard and one can only be happy about it."

SuperSport United spokesperson David Skosana was grateful that Super Stadium got the glossy treatment, since it meant supporters in the township no longer had to travel to Loftus Stadium in town.

"It worked out okay for us since we have now adopted the stadium as our home ground. Fans used to need two taxies to get to our matches, on top of paying for their tickets and meals," said Skosana.

"So now township folk get to enjoy the experience much better. And it is not only us. We consider ourselves fortunate and the project is a real example of what Fifa means when they talk of legacy."

A concern that has consistently been raised is whether the 94000-seat Soccer City will turn into a white elephants after the six-week tournament.

The LOC could not be reached for comment on the issue.

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