B&H Arena

Capacity32 000
Country Bosnia-Herzegovina
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost€40 M ($43.8 M)
Design AKSA d.o.o. Zenica


B&H Arena – design description

Why does Bosnia and Herzegovina need a national stadium?

Bosnia and Herzegovina lacks modern stadiums and for a long time there has been talk of the need to build a new facility or thoroughly modernize one of the existing ones. So far, however, there has been a lack of money for major investments.

In the capital, Sarajevo, there are two stadiums where the national team can play, the large Olympic Stadium in the Koševo district, which hosted the opening ceremony of the 1984 Winter Games, and the smaller Grbavica Stadium. However, both are not in the best state of repair, and the national team has for years preferred to play matches at the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica, which is also not among the most modern stadiums.

How did the plans for Bosnia and Herzegovina's national stadium come about?

The initiative was finally taken by the authorities of Novi Grad, a municipality that is part of Sarajevo (in the western area of the city), who, in cooperation with the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, commissioned an architectural concept for a new stadium. The vision was prepared by studio AKSA d.o.o. Zenica. The concept was presented on March 13, 2018, during a visit to Novi Grad by UEFA representatives.

What does the concept for Bosnia and Herzegovina's national stadium entail?

The stadium is intended to be football-specific and meet the requirements of UEFA Category 4. The design is characterized by a rather simple, yet elegant and coherent form. The fully covered stands are divided into two tiers. The pitch will be on a north-south axis as standard, with the main stand to the west. An initial capacity of 30,305 spectators was assumed. The project has been given the name B&H Arena.

How much might the Bosnia and Herzegovina national stadium cost?

The cost of the project was initially estimated at around €40 million. The initiators were hoping for financial support from FIFA and UEFA. A grant for the construction of the stadium was reportedly also to be awarded by the Malaysian authorities.

Where was the Bosnia and Herzegovina national stadium originally planned to be built?

The new stadium was to be built on the territory of the municipality of Novi Grad, in an area called Halilovići, next to the education, sports and recreation center "Safet Zajko" and on the banks of the Miljacka river, the course of which was even intended to be adjusted in connection with the planned construction.

Where was the new plot of land designated for the construction of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national stadium?

On February 27, 2021, a delegation of local government representatives and sports activists visited Rajlovac (also within the municipality of Novi Grad), where a new plot of land for the stadium was proposed, instead of the land in Halilovići. This plot is located further to the west, away from the settlements, between the Miljacka river and the main road connecting Sarajevo to the A1 motorway.

What is the latest on the construction of Bosnia and Herzegovina's national stadium?

When was the issue of building the national stadium of Bosnia and Herzegovina reintroduced?

The following months brought no concrete information on the construction of the stadium. The issue was only revived in the spring of 2023, after Kenan Magoda became the new Minister of Culture and Sports of Sarajevo Canton.

On April 18, 2023, Kenan Magoda stated at a meeting with the mayor of the Sarajevo municipality of Centar, Srđan Mandić, that the creation of a national stadium is now a priority for the ministry. In doing so, he pointed to the Olympic Stadium in the Koševo district as a potential national stadium, but also did not rule out the creation of a new facility in another location.

Where should Bosnia and Herzegovina's national stadium eventually be built?

On May 8, 2023, there was a meeting between Kenan Magoda and the mayor of the municipality of Novi Grad, Semir Efendic, where it was agreed that the national stadium would be built in Novi Grad, on the site that was proposed in early 2021 (Rajlovac). The new capacity of the stadium was also given, which is expected to be 32,000 spectators.

The municipality already had a zoning plan that included the construction of the stadium, as well as a new road junction for quick access. The authorities were also in possession of most of the land.

What steps had been taken to build the Bosnia and Herzegovina national stadium?

At the meeting, it was agreed that the municipality, together with the Sarajevo Canton, would allocate funds for the complete settlement of ownership issues and the development of full project documentation. The next step is expected to be discussions with the football federation and government representatives at various levels to raise funds.

When will Bosnia and Herzegovina's national stadium be built?

There is as yet no concrete information on when the new stadium would be built. The key in this matter will probably be to complete the budget for the investment. The project also has its critics, indicating that the stadium will be too big and unprofitable or that the existing facilities should be upgraded first. However, there is no doubt that Bosnia and Herzegovina needs a modern stadium, in line with modern standards.