Austrian club LASK introduces new home

Video: LASK

Austrian association football club LASK presented its new stadium on Wednesday. At the same time, the name sponsor of the new stadium was also announced. The new stadium in Linz, Austria, will be known as ‘Raiffeisen Arena’.

Linzer ASK (LASK) is an Austrian association football club, from the Upper-Austrian State capital Linz. It is the oldest football club in that region, and plays in the Austrian Football Bundesliga, the top tier of Austrian football.

Credit institution Raiffeisenbank Oberösterreich has acquired the naming rights of the facility.

“It’s a big deal for us. We are in a time of crisis when it is incredibly important to set investment impulses. LASK does that and creates jobs and added value. For this reason, we are happy to support this,” said Heinrich Schaller, General Director of Raiffeisenlandesbank Austria.

The partnership goes beyond sponsorship, including topics such as payment, ticketing or parking space management. The partnership also comes into play when financing the stadium.

The architect of the new arena is Harald Fux, GM, Raumkunst ZT GmbH, Austria. As the leading architect, Fux views the stadium as a hub for sports. He sees the design as “new, special and distinctive”. The stadium should be bestowed the highest UEFA Category 4, so that it is also available for international matches and the Austrian Cup final. They are aiming for a climate neutral stadium. It was announced that wagering will also not be allowed in the venue.

LASK new stadiumImage: Linzer ASK

The stadium boasts 20,234 seats, divided between upper and lower tier. Internationally, the capacity stands at 18,011. There will be 4,500 standing spaces available on the grandstand, which can be converted into 3,000 seats for international games. Unlike the rest of the stadium, the fan stand will have one rank. However, the upper tier should initially be blocked in league games to enable around 12,000 spectators to find more elbow room.

Though the price tag of the stadium has not been officially announced, but, according to a club spokesman, they are in the range of the stadia opened in Vienna in recent years, plus the increasing general costs for construction costs. The Rapid Vienna Allianz Stadium cost around 53 million euros, the Generali Arena from Austria cost around 48 million euros.

A boarding school, a health center, a fan village, a fan shop and an eatery are also integrated. A large area for children will enjoy child care facilities on game days. There will also be a VIP box at the player tunnel, akin to how English professional football club Tottenham Hotspur implemented it in their new stadium. The stadium has a total of 2,200 business seats, 42 sky arches and two event boxes. Fifty percent of the boxes are already sold.

The other amenities to be featured in the arena are the 1,000 square meters LASK kids club which will also remain open on a non game day for public use, a LASK health center with X-ray facilities and doctors, and a small operation theater for medical surgeries. A small church will also come up to conduct nuptials or baptism ceremonies.

The Upper Austrian State Government describes stadium construction as a lighthouse project for the Federal State.

In 2019, the LASK’s bid to build the stadium at Pichling (Austria) near a lake failed to take off. The local population resented the move and it also ruffled the feathers of conservationists. Finally, the club settled for building the stadium at Linz.

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