J.League's Gamba To Move Into New $133M, 40,000-Seat Stadium In 2016
J.League club Gamba Osaka "will move into a brand-new stadium as early as 2016," according to Kaz Nagatsuka of the JAPAN TIMES. The club's new stadium "will be built in an unprecedented way." In '10, the club "launched a fundraising organization and the project kicked off in earnest." As of Thursday, it had collected roughly ¥11.3B ($28.5M) of the ¥14B ($133M) construction fees. The majority of the money "has been provided from companies," including Panasonic, one of Gamba’s biggest sponsors. Led by the Kansai Economic Federation and Chair Shosuke Mori, ¥8B ($76M) "has been contributed for funding so far." Meanwhile, ¥3B ($28.5M) of the grant-in-aid from toto, the J. League’s lottery, "was also huge." And although the amount is much smaller, individuals -- "the majority of them are presumably Gamba supporters" -- have donated a total of about ¥280M ($2.7M) "with hopes of seeing the new castle." The inexpensiveness of the stadium construction, which began in mid-December, is "also unprecedented in Japan." It is scheduled to have 40,000 seats and "usually the cost would be much higher to make something that size." For instance, it cost ¥19.3B for Kashima Stadium (about 41,000 seats) and ¥29.3B for Toyota Stadium (about 45,000 seats). The low cost for the new Gamba stadium "is almost revolutionary and could change the notion for brand-new sports stadium construction in Japan" (JAPAN TIMES, 12/28).