New designs: Plovdiv’s stadium derby

source: StadiumDB.com

New designs: Plovdiv’s stadium derby Two top clubs in Bulgaria have been competing for eight decades now. Their stadiums are only 600 meters apart, making it one of the closest derby games. But right now a game of stadiums is being played. And it seems Botev will be on top once more.

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Botev is the oldest Bulgarian club existing continuously to this day (1912). Lokomotiv isn’t only younger, but also waited very long for their first domestic championship, until 2004. Now both are fighting for supremacy not only on the pitch or in the stands, but… with the stands, new stands. Both clubs introduced plans of building new stadiums in recent years. Here they are!

Stadion Hristo Botev

First conceptual renditions of this stadium were presented back in 2012. Foundation works were soon launched in the east of the stadium. But with the club not having the 35-year ownership of the ground secured back then (only approved in Feb 2014) and final design being worked on, the progress was symbolic.

Stadion Lokomotiv PlovdivPhoto: PFK Botev Plovdiv

Real demolition of the old stands began in early 2014 as the club presented its final vision of Bulgaria’s best stadium, or so it was called upon presentation. After the late launch construction was announced to be done in April 2015, with opening scheduled for May.

The modified design by local office Vamos includes 75% of the 18,788 seats covered by enclosed roof (initial vision had uncovered corners) with all spectators located on one tier. Dominated by yellow and black colours of the club, the stands will have a typical layout: north end will belong to the fanatic fans, signaled by the big number 12 (for ‘12th man’) written with seats. Away fans will have 1,500-1,600 seats in the south.

Stadion Lokomotiv PlovdivPhoto: PFK Botev Plovdiv

The new stadium will retain only one element of the old one – historical stairs leading to the main grandstand. Even the name will be changed, but this is expected to be preceded by thorough consultation.

The project is done thanks to financial involvement of Tsvetan Vassilev, one of Bulgaria’s richest and most influential people. Vassilev also built Botev the country’s best training centre, where the club hopes to stage all games until the new stadium is opened in mid-2015.

 

Stadion Lokomotiv

The idea of Stadion Lokomotiv’s complete redevelopment was initiated by supporters of the club back in 2010. One of the main objectives was to keep the existing U-shaped bowl without north end. Revamped stands on the three sides would only partially remain on sloped land, getting completely new concrete outer structure with spectator amenities and club facilities.

Stadion Lokomotiv PlovdivPhoto: PFK Lokomotiv Plovdiv

They would also be mostly covered by light steel-tensile structure and translucent sheets. The facades’ cladding of white and black composite were to represent colours of Lokomotiv.

Stadion Lokomotiv PlovdivPhoto: PFK Lokomotiv Plovdiv

The only completely new stadium would be Besika, the north end for most vibrant supporters. Built from scratch, this part of the stadium would hold 4,000 people (80%) covered and be integrated with an indoor hall housing 1,400 spectators. Both buildings would share one roof – one over the stand would only be an extension of the other, covering the arena.

While part of the north end was demolished back in 2004, the other half went down in March 2013, being part of the promise by businessman Veselin Mareshki, who pledged to make the dream come true. The stadium even received completely new floodlight masts to fit the final design. Unfortunately after all demolition works were carried out, Mareshki withdrew from the plan and left it on hold up to this date.

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