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SBD Global/August 7, 2013/Facilities
J2 Club Gamba Osaka Turns To Fans, Local Businesses To Fund New Stadium
Published August 7, 2013
ECONOMIC LIMITATIONS: Gamba’s owner Panasonic is reported to have provided 8B yen ($80M) in funding for the stadium, but the Osaka-headquartered electronics giant lost more than 1.5 trillion yen ($15B) over the last two years, and is unlikely to stump up any more. Facing fundraising problems, Gamba considered a 32,000-seater stadium, but Otani confirmed that it was going ahead with plans for a 40,000 capacity venue that would meet FIFA regulations on hosting World Cup games. Gamba won the Asian Champions League in '08 and average attendances peaked at 17,712 the following season, but with relegation last year, crowds dropped to 14,778 and they were overshadowed by cross-town rivals Cerezo, which averaged 16,913. Gamba is currently first in J2 and looks set to return to the top division.
Gavin Blair is a writer based in Tokyo.