Based in the Cape Flats in South Africa’s province known as the Cape, or more specifically Cape Town, the Athlone Stadium is mostly used for football matches. It is the home base of the Santos Cape town team and can accommodate up to 34,000 fans. The stadium was originally built in 1972 and was one of the key venues used during the FIFA World Cup for training, while it also hosted eight of the African Nations Championships in 2014.
The multipurpose sports field is only one of the features of the Athlone Stadium, which also feature several other facilities including disability access, change rooms, and public bathrooms, which makes it a popular as a function hire. The stadium is mostly used for matches and is also great for sports programmes, workshops, meetings, concerts and other events.
Upgrading Budget Spent R297 Million
Since the Athlone Stadium was originally built in 1972, it needed extensive upgrading before the FIFA World Cup that took place in South Africa in 2010. The venue was identified as the perfect training venue in the Cape province, and the upgrades required an estimated budget of R297 million. The huge budget was spent since the stadium would be well used in future, and it was destined to be the most used venue year after year in South Africa and especially in 2019.
MostUsed Stadium in 2019
Unfortunately, the drought experienced in the Cape caused a series crisis, and the fields of the stadium could not be maintained during 2018, which makes it unplayable in the first season of 2019. This forced many of the clubs and leagues to find alternative stadiums since the grounds requires at least another two months before the damage caused by the water problems could be fixed causing the stadium to require extensive work.
Athlone Stadium Selected by Six Teams as Home Stadium Venue
There are few if any alternatives available to the six teams that selected the Athlone Stadium for the National First Division kick-off in August. The teams include the Ajax Cape Town NFD sides, Cape Umoya United, Ubuntu Cape Town and Stellenbosch FCs all voting for the stadium to be their home ground in both 2018 and 2019. The stadium grounds are also used by the Santos of the ABC Motsepe League and the issues caused major concerns. Two matches were already scheduled for as early as February, and these include the Maritzburg United and March scheduled Mamelodi Sundowns. The water restrictions also place stress as the Stormers Super Rugby season that would have used the stadium during 2019.
One of the Biggest Events held at the Athlone Stadium is the yearly Kaapse Klopse Karnavaal, celebrating the heritage of the Cape Carnival via a competition-style event in which groups compete against each other. The bright coloured event attracts several celebrities and thousands of spectators. The competition includes judging the best-dressed group and marches all part of the festive event.