Yesterday the city council voted in favour of stadium reconstruction, today Karlsruher SC invited supporters for the final game of Wildparkstadion. Demolition is coming fast!
After two years of analysis and debates (only on the latest proposal, there was a decade of talking before!), things are suddenly moving really fast in Karlsruhe. Yesterday evening the city council voted in favour of Wildparkstadion's demolition and construction of its 35,000-capacity successor. Already today Karlsruher SC invited supporters for the official farewell game, to be held on November 3.
Council not unanimous
Yesterday's decision came late, just before 7pm, preceded by a heated debate about the stadium's financing and rationality. The new venue is expected to cost around €120 million, which should be recovered from annual payments by the football club, over the period of 35 years.
However, KSC's finances aren't stable at present, following the team's relegation to 3. Liga. This is why some members of the council, notably from AfD, suggested the team could fail to deliver on such scheme, putting more of a burden on taxpayers.
At the same time there seems to be no reasonable alternative. Major renovation of the existing stadium was estimated at €60 million. That estimate doesn't include rapid inflation in construction costs across Germany, however, and would result in a barely up-to-date stadium.
Thus the decision to push for publicly-financed reconstruction. In order to save some cost to taxpayers, shareholders of the football club had agreed to cover the new stadium's parking, worth some €7-8 million.
In the end decision showed strong majority in favour: 30 for, 17 against, 0 abstentions.
Please mind, the above rendering is preliminary only, it doesn't show the final design. The official concept will be revealed on November 22.
Demolition just days away
Already on November 5 heavy machinery will begin work on demolition of Wildparkstadion. First to go is the northern curve (sections A1-A4) and its floodlights. Once the site is cleared, a new temporary stand will be delivered behind the northern goal to allow fans inside even during works.
Fot: Sven Scharr (cc: by)
Once this phase is done, identical steps will be taken in the south, where away fans stand. The goal is to allow no fewer than 15,000 spectators throughout the reconstruction. Detailed phasing should be known shortly, however delivery is expected to come in 2022.
Just hours after green light from the city council, KSC invited all supporters to the very last game with all blocks of the current ground open to the public. On November 3 the team will face Würzburger Kickers in what's designed to be a trip back in time to 1955, when the original stadium was opened.
It's all going to be retro: posters, tickets, even souvenir drinking cups. That's the conventional part. More notable is the unique jersey design, aimed to mimic the one from August, 1955. Even the sponsor, Klaiber, agreed for his original logo to be removed and only outlined in different shade of blue, blending with the blue shirt. Such jerseys will be sold to the public, but only in limited series of, you guessed correctly, 1,955.
And finally, the best part: tickets will cost as much as they did in 1955. Back then entrance to the stadium was priced at 10-20 marks, which means roughly €5-10 (by exchange rates from when the euro was introduced). Which is a really fair price for terracing (€5) and seating (€10), we have to say!