United received a host of awards following on from the team’s success last year but critics still point to the relative lack of facilities for supporters at the club’s current home ground, the municipal stadium in Nongprue, and even the opening of a new stand there at the end of last year has failed to quell the thinking that a move to a larger more modern stadium can’t come soon enough.
Pattaya Mayor Itthipol Kunplume.
Work started on a new sports facility on Soi Chaiyapruek 2 next to the National Indoor Arena several years ago but the worldwide financial crisis in 2008 and the ensuing budget restraints put everything on hold, with just the basic concrete foundations and terracing on one side of the ground complete.
The site has been left virtually untouched since the early construction work and the football pitch is now in danger of becoming overgrown and unusable.
At a recent press conference Pattaya Mayor and United board member Itthipol Kunplume said that the city has set aside 500 million baht from the 2011 fiscal year, to begin the second phase of work on the project but issues regarding the designs have put a hold on construction recommencing. The Mayor said completion of the stadium is expected to take approx. 3 years once the designs problems have been ironed out.
For the time being United will continue to make use of the Nongprue municipal stadium with it 5,000 capacity. The new sports arena, when completed, is expected to have space for 20,000 supporters along with large parking areas and modern public utilities.
Concrete terraces lie abandoned and incomplete at the new sports arena on Soi Chaiyapruek 2.