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Stadium call may go out to Zeta

Dec 31 2004

Robin Turner, Western Mail

 

COULD Catherine Zeta-Jones be asked to open Swansea's £30m new joint soccer and rugby stadium?

The Ospreys and Swansea City FC which will move into their 20,000 seat new home on July 31 are looking for a celebrity to officially launch the venue.

Exterior work has nearly been completed and the contractors are now furnishing offices, conference suites, bars and player facilities.

After the last-ever Christmas match at Swansea's much-loved but past-its-sell-by-date Vetch Field the countdown for a grand opening for the new stadium at Morfa has begun.

Big name celebrities and politicians are being approached to attend an opening ceremony with Swansea-born Oscar winner Zeta-Jones being seen as a prime target because of her global profile.

And work is being done by the Ospreys and Swansea to line up big games for a series of high-profile inaugural matches.

Mark Evans, the FAW's international secretary said he was trying to set up a Wales versus Spain match at Swansea for next August.

The Ospreys management is also hopeful of a big match, possibly with a Zurich Premiership club from England.

Although work is only now starting on the pitch, which will need to stand up to the rigours of both football and rugby for nine months of the year, every one of the 20,280 black and white seats are in place.

The huge foundations of the as yet unnamed stadium (while the hunt for a major sponsor goes on) sit on 1,450 precast concrete piles.

The West Stand upper floor facilities cover a total area of 8,800 square metres.

To strengthen the pitch, plastic grass reinforcements will be put in place before it is seeded.

John Evans, senior associate with project managers Gardiner and Theobold, said the new stadium was something the city had needed for years. He said, "The Vetch has come to the end of its natural lifetime."

 
 

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