The council debated almost until midnight and eventually massively supported the construction of new football-specific stadium for Carl Zeiss. Groundbreaking set for 2017.
It must have been an exhausting day for Jena city officials on Tuesday as they deliberated future plans for Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld almost until midnight. The evening ended with a vote that saw vast majority in favour of building a brand new football-specific field. 29 council members were for, 5 against and 2 abstained.
The vote ends long-lasting debate over what should happen to the stadium. Should it be multi-use or football-only? Maybe build a new one somewhere else? These questions caused some disagreements and by the time debate ended four iconic floodlight masts were removed from the stadium.
At the end of the day no running track will be retained at the reconstructed stadium. To assure athletes don’t lose out on the football scheme, a secondary athletics stadium will be built elsewhere with €3 million. Meanwhile the main one, now planned as compact rectangular stadium, will hold 15,000 fans under cover, 500 of them on premium seats.
The project will start in 2017 and should easily allow Carl Zeiss to play their home games there even after promotion to the Bundesliga. The club presented an initial concept earlier this year. While final shape may vary, it gives an idea of what is planned.
The project is expected to consume €22 million ($25m) altogether, of which the city will invest most. Private partner should contribute €7 million to the project.