Even after the upcoming expansion, Bloomfield won’t be Israel’s largest, not even largest within the city. Still, fans of Hapoel, Maccabi and Bnei Yehuda shouldn’t be disappointed.
Looking back a decade, this used to be one of Israel’s best stadiums. Now that we’ve seen new ones opened in Haifa, Be’er Sheva, Netanya and Petah Tikva it’s hard to be impressed with good old Bloomfield.
With its 14,000 seats and opening date of 1962 it’s in need of significant improvements, regardless of short-term changes in 2008-2012. Especially considering the stadium’s importance for Israel’s football, hosting home games of Hapoel, Maccabi and Bnei Yehuda. After years of declarations we now know how the planned redevelopment should come to fruition.
The concept revealed recently by Tel Aviv mayor was drawn in one of Israel’s major architectural practices, Mansfield-Kehat Architects. This team was previously responsible for, among other projects, the new Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa.
In Tel Aviv their work is to salvage most of the current seating bowl, because there’s no room for larger stands behind both goals, limited by streets. New upper tiers are to be added along both sides, increasing capacity from 14,000 to 24,000 and making the stadium one of Israeli Ligat Ha’al’s largest.
Expanded along with the stands will be the concourses behind east and west side, with improved catering and toilet facilities. No complete roof is planned, only one over the west side, as has been to date. All of the new structures will be enveloped by a simple yet modern angular wrap.
Reconstruction should begin in mid-2017 and finish within a year. A brand new Bloomfield, worth ILS 275 million ($71 million) should thus be opened for the 2018/19 season.