The legendary Czech stadium was partially demolished and is now being transformed into one of the country's best youth academies. In October of next year training of over 300 children will begin.
After nearly 6 decades of use, one of Czechia's most iconic stadiums exists no more. Officially closed back in 2015, the Bazaly stadium saw gradual and partial demolition throughout July of this year.
Sentimental Banik Ostrava fans or groundhoppers who missed a visit shouldn't despair, though. The north curve and massive east terrace have been retained. Eventually most likely to turn into green landfill, for now they remain intact.
Aside from coming for sentimental reasons, guests will soon be welcome to visit the place in its new role. The site previously occuppied by the main stand, south curve and southern training field has been transferred to general contractor Hochtief on Monday. The company now has 14 months (until the end of September, 2019) to carry out necessary works.
Most challenging is the new main grandstand. Not big in terms of capacity, with just 450 covered seats, it will provide extentive infrstructure for young players, including a 60-meter covered running track for indoor use.
The main field will remain, though on a daily basis will be divided into three smaller fields. Meanwhile the southern training field will be converted into two full-sized fields, thanks to levelling of additional land. One of the new fields will be synthetic (3G), one natural.
Altogether as many as 300+ children will be able to use the complex on a daily basis, making it Ostrava's prime youth development hub.
The project is worth CZK 252 million (€10m) and is being financed publicly. Vast majority, CZK 170m, is put forward by the city of Ostrava, while the remainder, CZK 70m, by the Moravian-Silesian Region. The complex will officially be owned by Vitkovice Arena, a municipal sports infrastructure subsidiary.
But while public entities are responsible for building it, private ones are asked to make it work. The Czech football association, FAČR, will run the youth training program, while FC Banik will provide accommodation to players.