Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
PREMIERSHIP giants CAPS United have launched an audacious bid to turn the Glamis Arena at the Harare show grounds into their home and bring football to the facility for the first time since Independence.
The Glamis arena used to be one of the venues of the top-flight game in the colonial era when teams like Salisbury City, Salisbury United, Yellow Peril and Salisbury Callies used to play at the stadium.
It was also the home of motor racing before the sport moved to Donnybrook.
During that period, the venue was famed for hosting such big clashes like the Inter-Rhodesia Castle Cup clash between Mufulira Wanderers of Zambia and a Salisbury City outfit that featured the likes of the late trio of Alan Hlatywayo, Richard Chiminya and Kenneth Makoni.
That game attracted 18 000 fans at the stadium.
Hlatywayo and Chiminya later went on to join Dynamos where they became legends at the Glamour Boys.
But more than four decades later CAPS United are set to turn back the hands of time and take Premiership football back to the Glamis Arena.
It has emerged that the CAPS United management are in talks with the Harare Agricultural Show Society to lease the Glamis Arena and turn it into their home ground.
Over the years, the venue has been used for various activities including musical shows while CAPS United have settled for the National Sports Stadium since their decision to dump Gwanzura a few years ago.
Although Glamis is a facility owned by City of Harare it is managed by the Harare Agricultural Show Society.
According to sources close to the negotiations, the Green Machine who have also targeted the league championship they last won 11 years ago, are engaged in talks with the HAS.
It also emerged that the discussions are still at infancy but it is the intention by CAPS United to also capitalise on the proximity of the venue to the Harare Central Business District that underlines the new thrust of doing business at the Premiership giants.
There have been genuine concerns that the National Sports Stadium has become too big for the average CAPS United crowd for their home games which ranges between 5 000 to 10 000.
CAPS United officials declined to comment on the development but sources said they have earmarked the facility which may accommodate up to 10 000 people.
“The truth of the matter is that they want to use the facility. They have engaged the responsible people but they don’t want to talk about it as nothing has been agreed upon so far.
“The club has earmarked about three stadiums which they want and they may end up getting at least one of those,” said the source.
However, should CAPS United get the lease they would also have to make do with some renovations to the facility in order to come up with the basic minimum requirements for the PSL standards such as the grandstand, changing rooms, the pitch itself, the perimeter fence as well as the parking area.
The stadium already has some features such as the VIP which is mainly used to host the music gigs and commonly referred to as the Glamis Arena.
Other football structures such as the turnstiles are also in place.
Harare Agricultural Show spokesperson Heather Madombwe could not be reached for comment.
While the club’s management is looking at the best possible business deals, coach Lloyd Chitembwe and his men are also sharpening up for the 2016 season which will start in early April.
Chitembwe and his charges will tomorrow embark on a road trip to Mozambique where they are set for a 10-day pre-season tournament against three other teams.
During their stay in Beira CAPS United will play against Ferroviaro Maputo, Ferroviario Beira, and Textafrica.