The seat capacity of the newly revamped Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Mangaung, Free State, has been reduced.
The Free State Department of Sports, Arts and Culture’s Kgomotso Tlhakudi said the capacity is approximately 17 000 seats and was previously close to 20 000. The dubbed state of the art stadium is reported to have sophisticated new facilities, ranging from tennis and netball courts and an IAAF-approved athletics track, at a total cost of more than R300 million.
The stadium will be officially opened on Wednesday. According to Tlhakung the reduced capacity isn’t a concern.
“We have a bigger and better stadium, even though the number of seats has been reduced. We need facilities like these in our backyards so that our communities can have access to such stadiums. Whenever we have a big event, people can always go to the Free State Stadium, which is not far. Depending on what crowd you want, you would know which facilities to choose,” she said.
Tlhakudi clarified that Mangaung Metropolitan will be handling the renaming process of the stadium. Earlier this year, Mayor Thabo Manyoni mentioned that the stadium will be renamed after Bloemfontein Celtic soccer club founder, Petrus Molemela. The 33-year-old stadium is synonymous with Celtic.
Prior to the recent upgrades, the stadium was refurbished in 2008 for close to R60 million ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Bloemfontein was one of the World Cup host cities and the stadium was used as a training facility for the visiting teams.
The stadium has two main entrances on opposite sides and four pedestrian gates – two on both sides.