New managing team have quite a challenge as they need to both run the stadium and pay previous operator’s debts. As chairman Piotr Hymczak declares, the venue should be self-sufficient in 2017 at the latest.
When Lechia Operator lost management of PGE Arena a few months back, lack of any non-football events and poor corporate offer were main arguments against them. This combined with falling attendances during Lechia Gdańsk fixtures led to appalling financial results.
Now new managing company, Arena Gdańsk Operator (AGO) need to cover the debt and start earning money for the municipality.
We have to stress that the new operator took over not only the stadium, but also debts of our predecessors at about 5m zloty. Maintenance costs stand at 10m zloty per year. We give ourselves 3 to 5 years to get the ground out of the red and secure financing to cover running costs, AGO chairman Borys Hymczak declares.
At the same time he stressed that AGO has the necessary experience to boost corporate facilities as it operates under Gdansk Economical Development Agency. He’s also optimistic about Lechia’s future under new coach as the club barely avoided relegation last year and is only expected to do better now.
According to Hymczak, there is still potential to build a very good image for the venue as the so called “new stadium effect” is still working – almost 90,000 people came to see it during a community day two weeks ago and last week records were broken with almost 800 people visiting the ground in one day.