Using the old landfill stands, authorities of Bytom (Poland) hope to build a modern, but very economic stadium. The city has been struggling to provide decent infrastructure for decades. Will this concept change things?
The Polish city of Bytom is facing numerous problems. Unemployment increased to over 20% in late 2013, while authorities struggle with damages done by heavy industry and try to improve living conditions. No wonder that building a new stadium for once great Polonia (two-time champions of Poland) hasn’t been top priority in recent years.
Which doesn’t mean authorities haven’t tried, but the efforts ended with the old, dilapidating structure only receiving minor upgrades. Floodlights, under-soil heating, seats and a controversial membrane roof over main stand’s central section, barely protecting anyone from the elements with its angle.
After previous Polonia chariman Damian Bartyla became president in 2012, the stadium issue gained impetus. Yesterday municipal officials presented the masterplan for complete revamp of the existing site, utilizing as much as possible of the old stadium.
Two landfill stands along the pitch will be retained almost completely retained, while the western curve reconfigured to a more rectangular layout. Altogether these three stands will accommodate 9,000 people and require a roof of 8,600 sqm.
The stadium is expected to keep all the elements already installed apart from the north stand’s current roof. Floodlight masts, under-soil heating and some seats would be utilized to save as much of the cost as possible.
Instead of the existing east end a complex of two hockey arenas is expected, for another section of the sports club. Main hall is to hold 3,000 people and be available for concerts, while the secondary arena would serve training purposes.
The entire masterplan is priced at a very modest amount of PLN 50 million (€12m / $16.5m), but actual cost will depend on tender outcome. Bytom municipality wants to appoint designers and contractors both in one tender, applying the ‘design + build’ formula. Two thirds of the funding would come from Bytom’s resources, while remainder is supposedly secured in the Sports Ministry.
If budget constraints are met by bidders, reconstruction may begin already in September this year. Phased development, allowing the football team to use its stadium all the time, would end as soon as in 2016.