It seems that the Hungarian government just isn't stopping in the campaign to revamp all stadiums of Hungary's professional football. Among the latest examples comes Haladás Sportkomplexum in Szombathely, inaugurated late last year.
When the government had announced construction of the new Haladás stadium back in September of 2013, it resulted in quite some enthusiasm in the community. It's considered one of the biggest infrastructural projects over the past couple of decades. Initial budget was suggested at HUF 9.6 billion, though it later grew by roughly 50%, to 15.2 and then 15.6 billion, causing a wave of criticism not only locally, but also nationally.
Haladás had to play on the side field for some time, while the old stadium was demolished and new one began taking shape. In total some 27,300 m3 of concrete, 185,000 bricks, 2,500 tons of structural steel and 21,600 m2 of membrane sheets were used. The project engaged 530 workers, included 3 tower cranes and 8 crawler cranes. Largely prefabricated structure resulted in robust time frame of just over 1.5 year to complete.
Opening in November of 2017 had a special atmosphere, seeing the friendly between Haladás and NK Osijek joined by theatrical and musical performances. Club legends were invited to join before the football team became official tenant of the stadium.
The stadium was designed with domestic and international football in mind, thus the UEFA Category 4 capacity and infrastructure. This allowed it to be part of Budapest's 2024 Olympics bid (as women's football venue), though the candidacy later fell through.
Péter Bordás, architect behind this and several other major Hungarian stadia, created a standard single-tiered bowl, however put it in a modern envelope. The diagonal steel frame creates an interesting pattern visible from both the inside and outside. In its entirety, the stadium's clean white design presents itself well both by day and night, when it can be illuminated in various colours.
It offers designated VIP areas, including 12 skyboxes, media zone, team store and museum, conference hall for 75 people and, most importantly, the stadium is conjoined with the city's main indoor arena, able to hold 458 spectators. The two venues share an elevated platform, which provides room for some of the 292 parking spaces, as well as creating floor space for training facilities for various disciplines.
Author: Mateusz Strauchman