Three days before the beginning of the new soccer season in Israel's top league, and despite Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai's pronouncements, it is still unclear whether the first game can be played in the rebuilt Bloomfield soccer stadium in Jaffa. As of now, the Tel Aviv teams scheduled to open the season at Bloomfield, Bnei Yehuda, and Hapoel Tel Aviv, have not yet begun selling tickets for their first games. Bnei Yehuda is scheduled to host Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Sunday, and Hapoel Tel Aviv is supposed to host Maccabi Netanya on Monday; the question is whether the games will take place in Bloomfield stadium.
Bnei Yehuda cautiously says things will probably be cleared up soon. "Everyone, including the fans, understands the situation and accepts it with understanding," the club announced. Hapoel Tel Aviv's website states that the game will take place at the Hamoshava stadium in Petah Tikva, where the club has played its home games for the past three seasons while stadium has been demolished and rebuilt. Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv club is scheduled to host Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield stadium in the second game of the year on August 31.
The Tel Aviv - Jaffa municipality emphasizes that Bloomfield stadium is ready. "We are making every effort and sparing no resources to fulfill the last requirements. We are working in cooperation with all the parties in order to meet the target date and open the season at Bloomfield stadium for the soccer fans' sake," the municipality stated.
Firefighting approval and Form 4 approval have already been given, but additional approvals by the Ministry of Economy and Industry and Israel Police are also required in order to open the stadium.
Anyone passing by the stadium in recent days noticed the feverish round-the-clock work taking place there. The stadium will seat 29,500 spectators and serve as the home ground for the city's three top-tier teams: Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv. The old Bloomfield Stadium, which was demolished in 2016, had room for only 14,000 spectators.
Attending games at the stadium is liable to be difficult, especially on Saturdays, when there is no public transport. The number of parking lots in the vicinity is limited, and Jerusalem Boulevard is closed to traffic, which is causing traffic disruptions.
Bloomfield Stadium will now be Israel's third largest stadium after Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem (32,000) and Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa (31,000).
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 21, 2019
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