COVID hurdle to SC Freiburg’s new venue work

Video: ///M-Invasion (YouTube)

COVID-19 has cast its long shadow in the way of German football club SC Freiburg’s stadium construction work.

SC Freiburg is a German football club, based in the city of Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany. It plays in the Bundesliga, having been promoted as champions from the 2. Bundesliga in 2016.

The new SC Freiburg Stadium was supposed to be ready this summer but the global outbreak of coronavirus threw a spanner in the stadium construction works. Now, SC Freiburg has confirmed that they will not play any games at the new stadium before January 2021.

Uncertainty still shrouds the opening date of the new SC Freiburg stadium. Earlier it was stated that delivery in August is impossible and late 2020 is the best possible option to settle for. Now, it is being said that a 2020 opening is simply out of question.

The same was confirmed by Freiburg Sporting Director Jochen Saier and Manager Christian Streich. Both of them suggested the team would not play the first game before second half of the season, which begins in January. Of course, it all depends on how the coronavirus scenario would play out.

SC Freiburg update August 2020Image: AJ Schmidt & Freiburg

Only once construction is done, specific decisions on opening will be made. This means Bundesliga team SC Freiburg will begin the upcoming campaign at their present residence Schwarzwald-Stadion. A clear picture has not emerged as to how many of the 25,000 places will be occupied during games but the delay opens an opportunity to organize a farewell game for the ground that has served the club since 1954.

Construction of the new stadium in Freiburg’s Wolfswinkel practically began in the early part of 2019 (though officially ground works were launched in November 2018). Going by European standards, the process is still far from slow, however delivery in August proved unrealistic with coronavirus still continuing with its destructive streak the world over.

The arena capacity will stand at 34,700, of which roughly 12,000 will be for standing fans only. The price tag has been set at under €77 million ($89m).

SC Freiburg Stadium

As selected by voters in the 2015 referendum, the city of Freiburg decided to build a chic football stadium in Wolfswinkel area which would pack in 34,700 supporters, and would sit beside a local airport. It is part of a much larger urban scheme that will see residential estates coming up in and around.

Launched in 2016, the international tender for best and most efficient stadium concept was won by renowned companies HPP and Köster who proposed simple yet distinctive architecture along with satisfying infrastructure for €76 million, below the City’s initial estimates of €80-90 million. While built largely with prefabricated elements, the facility shouldn’t become an ‘identikit’ venue with its diagonal ties and imposing rectangular roof.

Capacity of nearly 35,000 people is more than one might expect from an arena rising 25 meters above ground, though it should be noted that a very high percentage (36 percent) will be devoted to standing areas, particularly at the single-tiered south stand. Remaining stands will have two tiers each with a rather low number of VIP/premium seats (2,000).

The stadium will employ a heating system that should reduce its carbon footprint by 550 tons of CO2 per year. Its roof will also allow the creation of photovoltaic panels later into its operation.

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