[Updated: 6 August 2016] With several weeks to go before the 2016/17 Premier League season kicks off in late August, the clubs have already announced their preference for their home grounds. While for district-related teams there is always an obvious choice to make, the current mode of selection has been quite controversial.
Many teams are missing a historic link with certain neighborhoods – and as the number of stadiums in attractive inner-city locations is limited, there have been quite a lot of rotations, which have barred clubs even further from taking roots in communities and maintaining them.
Currently, the teams make their choice according to their league ranking in the previous season. This quasi “stadium draft” allows the champions to make the first call, followed by the runners-up, the third and so on. Aside from the Hong Kong Football Club, none of the teams can actually claim ownership of any stadium. Instead, they are all managed by the Leisure & Cultural Services Department and formally rented for match days.
Some might even argue that Hong Kong is too small for local rivalries. However, after suspending the home & away mode for several years, it has been back in practice since 2009. Since then clubs like Kitchee, Eastern, Rangers, South China, and Pegasus have been constantly on the move.
Here is the tentative stadium allocation for 2016/17 (changes still possible):
|Eastern||Mong Kok Stadium||6,600|
|Kitchee||Mong Kok Stadium||6,600|
|South China||Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground||3,500|
|Pegasus||Hong Kong Stadium||40,000|
|Southern||Aberdeen Sports Ground||4,000|
|Yuen Long||Yuen Long Stadium||5,000|
|Rangers||Tsing Yi Sports Ground||1,500|
|Tai Po||Tai Po Sports Ground||3,200|
|Hong Kong FC||HKFC Stadium||2,750|
|R&F||Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground||12,000|
|HK Sapling||Hammer Hill Road Sports Ground||2,200|
More details on how to reach the grounds and their food & beverage situation to follow soon!