COVID-19 sword hangs on Poland stadium work


Poland Opole Stadium Image: UM Opole/GMT Sp. z o.o./90 Architekci

Though construction-related works have not stopped in Poland due to the coronavirus outbreak, however, brakes have been applied on the construction work of the next modern stadia (Stadion Miejski w Opolu) in Poland due to COVID-19. Groundbreaking which was supposed to be held later this year will now happen in 2021 or even later.

Mayor of Opole (in Poland) announced recently that his city would not begin construction work on the long-awaited modern football stadium – Stadion Miejski w Opolu. With delivery of the planning documentation delayed by a few months now, authorities decided the city can no longer afford such project.

The reason is pretty obvious: Due to the coronavirus bane resulting in lockdown, there is expected to be a huge slump in the city’s projected income from taxes.

As financial instability is the order of the day these days due to coronavirus, authorities are looking to tightening purse strings. New investments are the first place to cut from as they don’t directly impact the current standard of living. Looking at the present coronavirus scene, it would be wise to start the project in 2021, but it might as well be 2022 or later, depending on how better the coronavirus situation becomes.

“It’s a matter for the next few years. First we have to evaluate how strongly Opole would be hit by the crisis. Stability of the local economy and workplaces has to take priority. The stadium is necessary, but we have to get back on our feet before we can take it up,” remarked Mayor Arkadiusz Wiśniewski.

The 12,000-capacity Stadion Miejski w Opolu is now in the final planning stage and was due for groundbreaking later this year. Though the city had not allocated specific funds for it, it was supposed to be partly financed from the sale of 25 percent of shares in the municipal water and sewage company, which generated PLN 100 million (€22m) this year.

Coincidentally, the stadium should also cost around 100 million, though detailed estimates are still being worked on and will likely have to be updated as the market fluctuations end.

Stadion Miejski w Opolu rewind

Opole’s new municipal stadium, home to Polish football club Odra, will be built in the north-western outskirts of the city, close to the Karolinka shopping center. International competition delivered 11 entries and the joint venture of 90 Architekci and GMT proved successful.

The winning design creates a clear and strong landmark with very simple means. Robust frame of the roof created sharp edges, while undulated white membrane opens the stadium up and invites fans inside, while adding dynamism to the otherwise serene form.

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