One-time champions of Poland Garbarnia Kraków are living their dream right now. Without any oligarch financing them, they used land as the main asset.
Garbarnia Kraków isn't a regular team. And we don't even mean their championship from 1931. In the shadow of Wisła and Cracovia they've always managed to have a vibrant, even if small, community of die-hards who just wouldn't let the club fold like many other district teams have.
Unlike almost all football clubs in Poland, Garbarnia Kraków are funding their new stadium themselves. The project is possible because the club own the current ground outright, as well as significant amount of land around it. It wasn't their choosing, though.
“Garca” were forced from their picturesque old home in 1973, when socialist authorities decided to locate a huge hotel on the site, just across the river from Krakow's famous Wawel Castle. As reparation they managed to secure the land they occupy now, even if it only happened in 1990.
In recent years the club thus managed to divide their assets and allow significant residential investment, in return for which they received funds for the project. Their sports complex would occupy 4.8 hectares, while new residential lots cover 4.4 hectares.
Eventually the planned new stadium should meet UEFA Category 3 requirements, which includes 4,500 seated capacity with floodlights. Also, two training fields are planned. The new east stand, most exposed one, should see major commercial building conjoined with it, planned for hotel and potential offices.
The project's very first phase began back in 2014, when first of the two fields was created, west of the stadium. In 2015 the main field was rotated by 90 degrees, now please on the west-east axis rather then more conventional north-south one, which it used to follow.
Then in 2016 actual construction of a new club house began, ending with the year itself. Garbarnia expressed hopes to deliver the main grandstand (south) by the end of March, 2018. It would then look like the above rendering. Until and after that date fans will be able to use old northern landfill stand, part of the previous layout.
Whether two remaining grandstands (new north and east) will be built isn't clear.