Stadium upgrades total R6m

2017-11-28 06:00

Athlone Stadium is set to get a number of improvements in the next few months.

The budget of the City of Cape Town is set at R6m.

The entire budget for the year has been committed for the four projects that are currently being implemented on the site.

The stadium has new LED scoreboards installed, which was promised in the last sitting of subcouncil 17 in October.

Peripheral lighting at the west side of the stadium is set to be installed as it has been identified as a hotspot for break-ins at the stadium itself.

The third project which is nearing completion is the installation of a specialised water-saving system for the stadium.

The final project, in which the rest of the budget will be spent, is the installation of an improved evacuation and sound system for the stadium to be more compliant to safety regulations. Those contractors are on site and they should be done by early February next year.

By the end of February, the City expects to have spent the entire R6m.

Proportional representative for subcouncil 17 Garin Cavanagh has welcomed the news.

“I am very pleased to hear that there is progress at the stadium. Athlone Stadium has always been kind of left behind, but is getting to the front now. I am happy to hear that we are going to spend this kind of money there to make it viable as a trading entity,” says Cavanagh.

He points out that the long-term vision for the stadium is to make it a competitive site for participation in comparison to Cape Town Stadium.

“It is an alternative venue that can be offered to people who want to host conferences, so that Athlone Stadium can also generate income, not just hold soccer matches and carnivals. I am happy to hear the scoreboards are up and I think in the next financial cycle, I would want to stick my neck out and say that we should budget for a big television screen like we have at Cape Town Stadium. What they have, we must also have,” Cavanagh says.

Councillor for the area Rashid Adams attended the Spring Queen event hosted by the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union a few weeks ago and was impressed with how efficient operations were at the venue.

“I believe that the money is being well spent. One of the sheets of the roof came loose and was flapping and people were fearing that it would blow off, but within a very short space of time, they were able to get people onto the job to ensure that the roof was repaired in order to ensure the safety of those who came to attend the event.

“I could not believe that the stadium was able to be transformed into what it was on that day. People who complain that the stadium is a white elephant would have had to report differently on that day.

“Those are the type of events that the stadium can be utilised for, not just for soccer matches, but for other big events as well. I would like to applaud the staff of the stadium for how they managed that big event, because there must have been close to 20 000 people. I do not know what the actual count was, but the place was packed on the west side.

“Once again, we can see our facilities are being used for the communities.”

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