Frankfurt’s dream of an arena might come true
For nearly 15 years, the German city of Frankfurt am Main has been discussing the construction of a multifunctional arena. Now the project could finally become reality, the Frankfurter Neue Presse reported citing Frankfurt Sports Department head Markus Frank (CDU).
“We have two investors,” Frank (CDU) recently confirmed to a parliamentary question by Thomas Schmitt (BFF).
In the recent session of the city council, Frank left no doubt about the city’s will to join the project: it’s part of the coalition’s “blockbuster program.”
He contradicted the presentation of Schmitts, according to which SPD and Greens rejected the Franks’ concept. The coalition is “fully capable of action,” said the department. “We are negotiating, yes.” However, these negotiations have already dragged on for ten months.
Last year, two companies had submitted bids for the estimated €130 million new building on a tender for the city. These are Langano, part of the French Lagardère Group, and the US-based Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which operates the Staples Center in Los Angeles, among others.
The talks continued because it is currently a matter of “minimizing the risk to the city,” explained Frank. However, he did not say how soon a decision can be expected. “I believe in new projects, but we do not make a quick shot, but want to reach maximum for the city.” Once the decision has been made and the permit granted, Frank expects “one to two years of construction”.
Langano already had the status “first interlocutor” last summer. Now Frank puts it this way: One of the investors “has his nose a little bit ahead”. The arena is to be built on the site in the very west of the Kaiserlei area between Berliner Strasse and the railway line. Here also runs the city boundary to Offenbach.
The talks over the construction of the arena has been on for very long. Several locations were considered and rejected. Frank himself had already favored the Kaiserlei location in 2011. “City and region need the multifunctional arena,” he clarified again.
The hall will become the new home for both the basketball players of the Fraport Skyliners and the Eishockey-Löwen ice-hockey team. “But we also want to host live entertainment shows,” said Frank. The hall with a capacity of around 13,000 visitors will fill an important gap in the offer for the entire Rhine-Main area.
Recently, the sports clubs had advertised for an early construction of the arena. However, in view of the long debate, demands had also been made to use the area at the Kaiserlei for the construction of another European school. So eventually it will be as school or an arena? For Frank, the answer is clear: “I have a clear picture and see a beautiful multi-purpose arena there.”
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