Current images are rather sad and sentimental as the old stadium, one of Poland’s most well known, is being demolished. Soon it will be replaced by training pitches, while a brand new ground is to be built north of the site, initially with only one stand.
In late December all four floodlight masts were cut to pieces and removed, now dismantling of all obsolete equipment is progressing throughout the stadium. The home ground of once-champions Łódzki KS (ŁKS) is beginning to disappear. Furnishings and demountable elements of the large main grandstand are being removed ahead of crushing the concrete structure.
Northern curve, based on sloped land, is being destroyed with heavy machinery, while a small temporary south stand is being dismantled before relocation. Only the east stand, nicknamed Galera (The Galley) by most ardent fans, is to remain for fans to use before the new stadium is built just meters north of the current ones.
Once ŁKS move north, Galera will also be leveled and two training pitches are going to be created in the place of the old stadium.
Work on the new stadium is yet to begin. It’s initial form will be a very modest one for two reasons. First is the economic one: though architects designed a 16,500-capacity ground with three stands (open north end), the municipality is only able to build one stand to begin with. Together with demolition of the old stadium it will cost PLN 94 million (€24m / $25m).
But the 5,700-capacity main stand with all necessary infrastructure underneath is more than enough to begin with. Why? Because ŁKS went bust last year and had to start from scratch at amateur level. Working their way up, the club will use the first stand and once they reach the top league again, the municipality promised to invest further and expand the stadium.
The first phase, covering demolition of the old stadium and new one with one stand, is expected to last 20 months. Should the contractor Mirbud meet the deadline, the new ground may be launched into operation in late 2015.