UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: April 18, 301 AP.

Rumours abound of super-stadium in Utan Krysaror

Rumours have reached fever-pitch that there will be a joint government-UFA bid to construct Vexillium's largest football stadium in Utan Krysaror.

The Utanian Football Association has long held that a large size stadium should be available for the holding of major finals or major games in Utania, and has a long term dream of hosting the Vexillium cup in a couple of years time. The rumours about the construction of a stadium began in January when the UFA declared its interest in building a stadium "large enough to handle significant crowds for the Cup".

Then, this week, Football Weekly, Utania's premier football magazine, printed A4-sized diagrams of what it claims is "one of the possible designs" from one unnamed architectural firm. The design shows the stadium climbing to one hundred metres in the air and being 290 metres wide. What impressed the magazine editors was the stadium capacity.

"The stadium design would accomodate almost one hundred and sixty thousand seated patrons, and possibly up to 190,000 people if the lower tiers were standing room", reported the magazine. The capacity would make the stadium the undisputed king of stadiums worldwide - the largest in the world.

"What is incredible about this design is also the height: patrons at the top would be 140 metres from the edge of the field, and some thirty storeys into the sky - the question is would you pay to see from that distance?" When asking the man on the street, several Utanians said they would, saying they would get a "birds eye view" of the game - provided the game was one of the top games, and the price was reasonable.

The magazine quoted some building estimators who gave their estimated prices for the construction of such a stadium, and the three estimates ranged from 600 million to over 1 billion. With such numbers, the magazine repeated the rumour that the Okarvits government regarded such a stadium as "a matter for national pride", and would be interested in participating in financing the project, given that the UFA is currently said to be approaching bankruptcy.

The UFA is currently experiencing internal difficulties with corruption and deals being regularly cited. The government threatened in January to "step in" and nationalise the organisation if it did not "get its affairs in order". Though the UFA Board appointed an Ethics Committee, the committee is said to have been without sufficient "bite" to effectively challenge official corruption. The leak of these designs to a sports magazine is a clear indication of the corruption still prevalent inside the organisation.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)