Hungary building stadia beyond borders

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Serbia Bačka Topola new stadium Image:

Hungarians are erecting so many modern stadia that one loses track of the same. But, this particular stadium needs special mention as it is being built outside of the country, this time in Serbia – the 4,100-capacity Centralni Stadion FK TSC.’ reported that the modus operandi of building stadia is as such – the Hungarian Government funnels money through a subsidiary (in this case, the Hungarian FA, MLSZ) for the development of Hungarian football outside geographical borders.

The Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) is the governing body of football in Hungary. It organizes the Hungarian league and the Hungarian national team and is based in Budapest.’ further reported that the objective is to boost the morale of Hungarian diasporas in neighboring countries by setting up strong football teams. These diasporas need a proper venue. The first ‘Hungarian’ stadium opened in Dunajska Streda (Slovakia) last year. Now, more are being built in Osijek (Croatia) and Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania).

The latest to be built by Hungary is the one mentioned above – Bačka Topola (Serbia), just 30 km south of the border. The new stadium in Bačka Topola is being planned on the same spot where the old stadium used to sit. While the development has forced the local team, TSC Bačka Topola, to relocate for as long as three seasons, the outcome is supposed to be worth it, with a lot of people citing that it will be the most spiffy stadium in Serbia, at least until larger ones open.’ stated that the magnitude of the stadium stands out massively in the mostly single-family-house area. In fact, the project is not only the largest in Bačka Topola (under 15,000 inhabitants) but even in the entire Vojvodina province (at the time of groundbreaking). The venue itself has a nearly two-hectare footprint, while the plot is over twice as big.

The design has been lent by Dragana Knažević, the new stadium has a simple yet futuristic and distinctive outer form of its own, with strongly corrugated roof line on the sides. The auditorium is a modest one, catering to the needs of the town with its 4,100 seats. However, since the ground has to fall under the UEFA Category 3 rating and become the center of Bačka Topola’s sports complex, the stadium itself is a very tall structure. It will even be connected by a skywalk with the nearby natatorium, being built simultaneously.

In total, the stadium should offer floor space of 5,500 m2, which is significant for such scale. The plan includes building a hotel which would be employed by the local football academy (along with four fields outside the town proper). Bulk of the floor space would be within the south stand, though the western main grandstand will also offer a strip of glazed boxes above regular seats, to be used for hospitality and media members.’ also informed that as the town comprises mostly the Hungarians (under 60 percent), it’s no surprise that it’s the Hungarian Government who is picking up the tab. Initially, the development was expected to consume slightly over €10 million but, over time, an increase of up to €5 million has surfaced. However, the deadline has not changed and the development is expected to be delivered in mid-2021.

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