OSAKA – Former Asian champion Gamba Osaka will move into a new soccer-only stadium with a capacity of at least 32,000 in time for the 2014 season.
Team president Kikuo Kanamori relayed the plan in person to Tetsuya Inoue, mayor of Suita, Osaka Prefecture, on Monday. Gamba are currently based at the Expo ’70 Stadium in Suita, which holds just 21,000 and is a multipurpose arena.
The new stadium is expected to cost ¥15 billion, with Gamba’s parent company Panasonic Corp. set to foot ¥8 billion. The rest will be covered by sponsors and donations from supporters.
Kanamori said he hopes the stadium will be able to hold 40,000 — the minimum size to host a World Cup match. Japan, which co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea, wants to host soccer’s international showpiece on its own in the future.