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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Gamba to Move to Takatsuki?

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Probably not, but NHK Kansai ran a story last night about the breakdown of negotiations between the club and Suita City over their proposed new stadium. (See original post about both Cerezo and Gamba aiming to move to new stadiums by 2011.)

According to NHK and now the NikkanSports, Gamba's negotiations with Suita City have stalled over the City's insistence on receiving all of the money pledged towards the building of a new stadium, and its insistence that said stadium to be a 'city facility'. As a result, Gamba are said to considering other options, including a site in Takatsuki, near Ibaragi station. (I wonder if this is the same site that is a temptingly vacant lot between Ibaragi and Nunobe, which would offer TWO rail options for getting to the stadium.) This would be far more convenient than anywhere that is only served by the sloth-like Osaka Monorail.

Interestingly, the local resident I work with at the National Museum of Ethnology in Suita, says that Gamba has always had a close connection with Takatsuki since it has a stronger footballing history, and a Takatsuki base would likely improve attendances. (Of course one reason for Gamba's comparatively low attendances is Banpakus' 20,000 capacity and its remote location.) I suspect, that this 'news' is probably just a negotiating tactic, but it will be interesting to see what happens later this year. The delays already mean that a 2011 start is very unlikely. Even Japanese builders are going to find it tough to design and complete a new stadium within one year. :-)

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