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Friday, November 16, 2018

Limpag: USC’s unique place in Cebu football history

WHEN the first pictures of the University of San Carlos stadium leaked online a few years ago, almost everyone was amazed at how a school in the Visayas could have (then) the best football stadium in the Philippines.

And of course, the inevitable question was raised. When would we get to see the first Azkals game there? It’s been years since those pictures first came up and there have been no new developments. Until now.
Enter Global FC.

The team that would become Global Cebu FC is eyeing USC stadium as its home and I’ve heard officials of the club have fallen in love with the facility, even in its unfinished state. Global Cebu FC picking USC as its home is a match made in football heaven, one that could benefit not only Cebu football, but Cebu City and even indirectly, the Philippines.

Global is willing to cover the cost of completing the stadium and that alone is a big bonus for the school. USC will become the envy of schools nationwide as it’s going to be the only one (unless there is another one out there with a hidden stadium) with a football stadium in its campus.

Aside from that, because of its seclusion, the USC stadium is also a perfect venue for clubs from countries who want to go somewhere else to train during the winter break.

And its been done before. Remember back in 2014, the Japanese beach volleyball teams picked Cebu as its winter training venue before the two pairs embarked on a series of tournaments in Europe. Not only did they fall in love with the place, their training stint helped promote Cebu as a venue for pros.

I’m told the AFC guys who inspected the venue opened up the possibility of clubs in Japan using the USC stadium as training venue during the winter break and that could mean extra income for the school and a boost to Cebu City tourism. These players have wide social media presence and a post here and there about Cebu is free advertisement.

And of course, there is that answer to the question raised years ago when the first pictures of the USC came up. “When will it host an Azkal game?”

If completed, I think the answer to that would be ASAP and not only would that be music to football fans in the Visayas, hosting a match that could potentially be aired live gives USC lots of free advertisement.

With the Azkals leaving their home at the Rizal Memorial Stadium due to fan neglect, the USC Stadium could even be their new home in Visayas together with Panaad.

At a time when some universities are feeling the effects of the K12 program, USC is going to get lots of free marketing some financial windfall due to it having a football stadium.


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