‘The Black-Whites’ venue plans greenlighted

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LASK new stadium November 2020 update Image: Linzer ASK

The Bundesliga football club LASK’s (Austria) plans for a new all-seater facility which can accommodate 20,034 spectators has been greenlighted by the State of Upper Austria which has declared that it will infuse into the development a €30m (£26.9m/$35.8m) financial injection. Work is expected to begin on the project at the start of 2021.

LASK is an Austrian professional football club from the Upper-Austrian State capital Linz. It is the oldest football club in that region, and plays in the Austrian Football Bundesliga, the top tier of Austrian football.

The LASK’s home venue is the Raiffeisen Arena (Waldstadion) – a multipurpose stadium in Pasching, Austria. It is used for football matches.

LASK revealed plans for the new venue, which is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2022, back in July. Financial services company Raiffeisen Bank will hold naming rights to the stadium, which will be known as the Raiffeisen Arena. The company already sponsors LASK’s existing digs, which is also known as the Raiffeisen Arena and enjoys a capacity of 6,087.

LASK is forced to play European fixtures at the 21,005-capacity Linzer Stadion – the multifunctional arena in Linz, Austria – due to the size of the existing Raiffeisen Arena. The new Raiffeisen Arena is set to be built on the site of Linzer Stadion.

Governor of Upper Austria Thomas Stelzer and Regional Sports Councilor Markus Achleitner have announced that the project will receive a maximum of €30m in funding.

A joint statement issued by the duo stated, “One project that is now providing important impetus, especially for regional businesses, is the new LASK stadium, for which the club is investing more than €65m, with a maximum of €30m coming from the State as support.”

The funding forms part of a wider €1.2bn Upper Austria plan to secure and generate jobs, and to stimulate the domestic economy.

LASK President Siegmund Gruber noted, “The anticipation in the club and among the fans for the new arena is huge. A modern football arena is indispensable for our club in order to be able to be sporting and economically successful in the long term.”

The new stadium has been designed to raise the bar in terms of architecture and fan experience. LASK, which is based in the city of Linz, has the sustainability quotient high on its priority list and has affirmed that the stadium will be climate-neutral and plastic-free, with a future-proof energy concept having been developed in collaboration with Energie AG, the company which supplies electricity solutions and is based in Austria.

Electricity will be generated through photovoltaic systems on the roof areas of the stadium. Another LASK partner, BWT, will ascertain that only recyclable drinking bottles and cups are dispensed at the venue.

The new stadium will also team up with Upper Austria’s State sports center, which sits next to the site of the new development.

Stelzer and Achleitner further noted, “Not only do two top institutions come together in terms of sport, we have also set ourselves the goal of long-term cooperation with the State funding: From sports medicine/therapy and sports science testing to the joint use of parking areas and restaurants. We create a win-win situation for both sides, which also ensures long-term success. A sustainable center of sport is being created here on the Linzer Gugl.”

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