SK Sturm Graz keen on buying home stadium



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Sturm Graz wants to buy stadium Image: UPC-Arena, Jacktd, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Austrian Football Bundesliga club SK Sturm Graz wants to buy their home ground – the Liebenauer Stadium – from the City of Graz in Austria.

‘laola1.at’ stated that the above statement was made by the President of SK Sturm Graz Christian Jauk which has made people sit up and take notice.

The Sportklub Sturm Graz is an Austrian professional association football club based in Graz, Styria (Austria), playing in the Austrian Football Bundesliga (the top level of the Austrian football league system). The club was founded in 1909. Its colors are black and white.

The 16,364-capacity Liebenauer Stadium, known as the Merkur-Arena for sponsorship reasons, is in the Liebenau area of Graz, Styria, Austria. The ground is the home of the football club SK Sturm Graz.

Explained Jauk, who wants to bury the hatchet with the City over investments in the stadium, “We want to buy the stadium. We are deeply convinced that this will work in the best interests of the community on which the stadium sits. And we believe that this will help bury differences between the sports clubs and the City of Graz. It would be a win-win situation.”

‘laola1.at’ further stated that for example, due to lack of capital injection, the Liebenauer Stadium was not approved by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the Champions League group stage.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Because of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

The UEFA Champions League group stage involves eight groups of four teams, with each club playing everyone else in that group home and away. The top two sides in each group move on to the round of 16 and the start of the knockout phase, while the third-placed team drops into the UEFA Europa League (the second-tier competition of European club football).

Jauk argued that if the top-flight buys the stadium they will be in a position to take decisions as regards refurbishing the facility which presently leaves “much room for improvement”.
 

City Owner

Jauk made it clear that even if they buy the stadium, it would remain the property of the City – “We would buy the stadium, which is now almost 27 years old and is no longer fit to hold international fixtures. The City would continue to be the owner of the arena.”

The SK Sturm Graz will have to pay a considerable amount of money to buy the stadium. But Jauk is ready to take the financial risk.

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