Stadion Miejski w Łodzi (Stadion ŁKS-u Łódź)
|Cost||PLN 94 million (phase 1), PLN 129 million (phase 2)|
|Design||Perbo-Inwestycje sp. z o.o. sp.k., DiG Sowińscy|
|Address||Aleja Unii Lubelskiej 2, 94-020 Łódź|
Stadion ŁKS-u – construction description
How did the new ŁKS stadium happen?
In 2007 the existing ŁKS stadium was taken over by the city so that it could be comprehensively modernised. Various concepts were discussed before the final agreement was reached to build a new stadium at Unii Lubelskiej Avenue, and apart from ŁKS, Widzew was also to get a new stadium. Instead of building two smaller arenas, the possibility of building one bigger stadium used by both clubs was discussed. At the initial stage, the main reason for such a solution was the possibility of joining the bidding for the organisation of Euro 2012 matches in Łódź.
At the end of 2009 the first architectural concept contest for the new stadium at Unii Lubelskiej Avenue was held. Several impressive visions of a stadium with a capacity of about 30,000 spectators were presented, but none of them was decided to be carried out. In the summer of 2011, the city put out another tender for the construction of a new ŁKS stadium (along with a new indoor sports arena) with a minimum capacity of 15,000 spectators, under the design-and-build formula. Thanks to the construction of a new venue and a hall for more than 3,000 spectators, a modern sports complex was to be created (in the years 2006-2009, right next to the old stadium, a multipurpose indoor arena Atlas Arena was also built, which can hold more than 10,000 spectators).
Three bidders submitted offers for the tender, each of which presented its own architectural concept for the new stadium and arena. Of these, the one with the best price was the offer from the consortium of Budus SA and Mostostal Zabrze, which presented a vision of a football stadium with three roofed stands (capacity 16,500 spectators) and leaving an open space behind the northern gate, where a fourth stand could optionally be built in the future to close the structure.
Who was originally supposed to build the new ŁKS stadium?
Although Budus SA/Mostostal's bid was by far the cheapest, the amount offered (PLN 218.3 million) still exceeded the budget planned by the city (PLN 202 million). On 14th December 2011 the city councillors voted additional funds for the stadium, thanks to which on 23rd December 2011 Budus SA/Mostostal Zabrze could be declared the winner of the tender, thus rejecting the offers of Max Boegl (PLN 317.3 million) and the Hydrobudowa Polska/Remaxbud consortium (PLN 322.8 million). The contract for the construction of the stadium, the training pitch and the indoor arena, including the demolition of the old stadium, was signed on 2nd February 2012. According to the contract, the construction was to be completed by 30th December 2013 and the facility was to be fully operational by 30th April 2014.
Where was the new stadium for ŁKS Łódź built?
The new venue was to be built next to its predecessor, to the north of it (the south stand of the new facility was to be built partly on the site of the north curve of the old stadium). The plan was to demolish most of the old stadium, leaving only the eastern stand until the new arena was completed. Initially, after the contract was signed, no construction work was carried out. In May 2012, the first elements of the old stadium were dismantled in preparation for demolition. In summer 2012 a fence was erected on the construction site.
Why was the contract for the construction of the stadium at Unii Lubelskiej Avenue terminated in 2013?
However, in autumn 2012 Budus SA filed for bankruptcy, which put the completion of the project in doubt. Initially, it seemed that Mostostal Zabrze could manage the construction of the stadium on its own. In November works even started on the demolition of the northern arch of the old stadium. In the end, however, Mostostal gave up on completing the investment, agreeing to a contractual penalty of PLN 10 million. The settlement and termination of the contract took place on 25th February 2013.
What was the further development of the ŁKS stadium?
Although it was decided to continue the investment, in May the city council reduced the stadium funding for ŁKS from PLN 223 million to PLN 120 million, while allocating more funds to the construction of Widzew's new stadium. The decision may come as no surprise in the context of ŁKS' punitive relegation to the fourth division in 2013, after the club withdrew from the competition due to financial problems.
The remnant of the partnership with Budus SA/Mostostal Zabrze was the finished design for the new stadium, which was created by architects Piotr Łabowicz, Marcin Kulpam and Grzegorz Sowiński from the Perbo Group studio. Based on this design a new tender for the construction of the stadium and indoor arena was launched. Due to the budget reduction, the stadium was to have only one stand on the western side (together with extensive back-up facilities), and the construction of other stands was to be carried out in the future, according to available funds, increased demand and the return of ŁKS to professional competition.
Who became the new contractor for ŁKS stadium?
In August 2013 the tender was cancelled due to too high financial expectations of the bidders. In October 2013, when the second tender was decided, the offers were still too high, so it was decided to abandon the construction of the indoor arena in favour of the construction of the stadium itself with one stand. On 26th November 2013 a contract for the construction of the stadium was signed with Mirbud, the company that offered the best price in the second tender (94 million PLN). The contractor was given 20 months to build the first stand of the new stadium.
How did the construction of ŁKS venue proceed after signing the contract with Mirbud?
Before the end of 2013 the floodlight masts of the old stadium were dismantled. In January 2014 the western stand and the arches were demolished. Only the eastern stand, the so-called "Galera", was temporarily retained. On the partially demolished facility, which could accommodate 4994 spectators, ŁKS played its matches until the opening of the new stadium.
Unlike the previous contractor, this time the construction went smoothly, although only after six months, on 23rd June 2014, with the participation of, among others, the mayor of the city, Hanna Zdanowska, the minister of sport Andrzej Biernat, representatives of ŁKS and invited guests, the ground-breaking ceremony took place.
When was the stadium on Unii Lubelskiej Avenue in Łódź opened?
Friday 24th July 2015 marked the commissioning of the new stadium by the contractor. Already on the first weekend, open days were organised combined with, among other things, a tour of the new stand. However, the official opening took place on 2nd August 2015 with a friendly match between ŁKS and Pogoń Lwów (2:1). The newly opened western stand had 5,716 capacity for spectators. Along with it, extensive sports and administrative facilities were also built. The new venue was managed by the Municipal Arena of Culture and Sports (MAKiS). After the opening, the demolition of the old stadium was completed, and parking spaces were subsequently created in its place.
When was the indoor sports arena next to the ŁKS stadium built?
Between 2016 and 2018, a new sports hall capable of holding over 3,000 spectators was built right next to the stadium (Łódź Sport Arena im. Józefa Żylińskiego). This arena was originally intended to be built together with the stadium, but then its construction was abandoned for cost-saving reasons. In the same period as the new hall, a training centre for ŁKS football players was built at Minerska Street.
What changes took place at ŁKS stadium before the second phase of construction?
At the beginning of 2019, temporary floodlight masts were erected behind the eastern edge of the pitch, which, together with lamps placed in the roof of the western stand, created illumination of the pitch; a sector for fans of visiting teams was also created behind the northern gate, accommodating 292 fans. In the same year, ŁKS returned to the Ekstraklasa. In autumn 2019, the field heating system was put into operation.
When was the contract for phase II of the ŁKS stadium construction signed?
On 28th August 2018, the tender for the construction of the three missing stands at ŁKS stadium was announced. In November 2018, due to too expensive bids, the tender was cancelled. After a technical consultation with the bidders, a new tender was launched on 1st February 2019. And this time the offers exceeded the assumed budget, but thanks to the increase in funding from the city, it was possible to choose the contractor. The offer from Mirbud, proposing to complete the construction of the arena for PLN 129 million, won (it was the same contractor who carried out the phase I of the construction). The contract was signed on 5th June 2019, with a deadline of 36 months to complete the facility.
How did the phase II of construction of the ŁKS Łódź stadium proceed?
Again, the works proceeded very smoothly, the more so because Mirbud at the start already had a building permit for two of the three stands to be constructed. The contractor declared the commissioning ahead of schedule, and the progress was not significantly slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic either. A change from the initial plans was the redesigning of the stand behind the northern gate, which was equipped with additional office facilities. While the works were ongoing, the facility was fully functional and ŁKS were able to play their matches there. In the summer of 2021, the stadium was officially named after Władysław Król.
When were all the stands of the new ŁKS stadium opened?
The opening of the arena after the commissioning of all four stands took place on 22nd April 2022. The ceremony included a concert by Margaret, a presentation of all sections of ŁKS as well as partner clubs and football academy teams, and the awarding of badges to deserving ŁKS athletes. At 8.30 p.m. a match of the 29th round of I league was played, in which the hosts faced Chrobry Głogów (0:1).
Is the ŁKS stadium the only stadium investment in Łódź?
The facility is one of three major stadium investments that were initiated in Łódź in the second decade of the 21st century, alongside the new Widzew stadium (2015-2017) and the speedway stadium (2016-2018).
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