Minsk all set to get second national stadium



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Belarus Minsk Image: IPPR

Though they boast the multipurpose facility – Dinamo Stadium in Minsk – Belarus is all set to get a second national stadium which will be soccer-specific. And, in terms of capacity, it will be 50 percent bigger.

Along plans that have been in the offing for nearly a decade, the new national stadium for Minsk (in Belarus) would come up beside the Stadion Traktor, along the Partizanskiy Prospekt in Vladivostok, Russia.

Stadion Traktor is a multiuse venue in Minsk. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of Dinamo Minsk – the professional football club based in Minsk.

As all efforts made by the Belarusian Government to find a financial formula for such a development proved to be futile, the project was finally ceded to the Chinese Government in toto. As confirmed earlier by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, his administration sought help from several countries on the development, but only China responded.

It is China who is picking up the tab for the stadium – from early designs shown for the first time last spring to end of construction, which should pave the way for a turnkey venue in 2023. The price tag of the arena is likely to be $235 million. However, only a part of it will be dedicated to the stadium. The other part will cover the cost of an Olympic-size natatorium. Initial plans called for the swimming pool to be attached to the stadium. Now, it will be set in a different part of Minsk.

China IPPR International Engineering Corporation has been entrusted with the task of delivering the project. Presently, the company is also involved in building the Morodok Techo National Stadium at Phnom Penh in Cambodia having previously delivered the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana – all as part of the same ‘stadium diplomacy’ strategy.

Media reports state that the last mentioned stadium construction was a half-baked job requiring intervention after just few months. This will not be repeated in the case of the present project in Belarus as regulations stipulate that the stadium should meet all criteria even for Euro 2020 host venues, while the Chinese will also provide a two-year warranty.

One of the most important events on the sport’s calendar – Euro 2020 – has been moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus affliction.

However, no decision has yet been made whether the name of the Euro 2020 to be held in 2021 will still be called Euro 2020 or not.

The facility is expected to fit in 33,000 people on a double-tiered seating bowl, with strips of skyboxes on the west and east sides. The high point of the venue will be a double-layered facade in white and red, which will change its appearance as one walks or drives along it. The facade cladding will not be opaque, which should allow sufficient sunlight access and ventilation of the concourses behind.

Compact seating bowl and steep upper stands will help create a vibrant ambience. The acoustics is aided by the inner lining of the roof. Structurally simple, the stadium will offer extensive infrastructure spread across six floors, one of them underground.

On levels -1 (main stand) and 0 (north and south) inbuilt parking sites will be erected, ensuring that as much of the current park as possible would be retained. In total, 307 publicly accessible parking bays would be located under the north and south ends (136 and 171, respectively). The east stand would allow for large commercial space, while a pavilion with national football museum would be joined into the southern plaza.

Fans are expected to enter the stadium largely from the north and south, which is where two public squares are planned, thus enabling people to come together both before and after the games. From the west a ramp is planned, rising gradually among trees.

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