Today their stadium wouldn't meet any professional football norms. But in 2023 it's going to be among Austria's best, even if not the largest. With a view of the magnificent Danube nearby and a furniture warehouse beneath...
You may recall, during the summer Linz's top club LASK took control of the municipal Linzer Stadion and presented the plan to redevelop it into a near-20,000-capacity stadium. This, however, means FC Blau-Weiss will have to move out, even if not instantly. Their historical Donaustadion is at amateur level today, not meeting any norms. But this week a new vision was presented and we're happy we can share it with you.
The Donaupark stadium is up for a real revolution. The field will be rotated by nearly 180 degrees and lifted up because... the new stadium will sit atop a furniture warehouse! Municipal officials even went to Belgrade in 2019 because the project is inspired by Vożdovac, the stadium sitting on top of a shopping centre. As a result, the new stadium's playing field will be above ground level. The warehouse will be operated by XXX Lutz, who were granted permission to build their new store behind the stadium.
Rotation of the field from its initial position is meant to optimise use of the limited space available as there's a fresh car/tram bridge to be built along the stadium. Meanwhile, the venue has to grow beyond comparison with the old, amateur-level ground. On ground level alone there will be commercial spaces for lease to the tune of 620 m2.
The limited footprint required optimal structural solutions, so a reinforced concrete frame was selected, along with steel prefabs. Metal will also be present on the stadium's facade, covered with neutral mesh. The outer mesh will be just one layer, with glazing inside. This way the interior will receive natural light, while offering fans inside a view of the Danube nearby. Yes, the river is just 50 meters away from the stadium.
Because the stadium will become part of the riverside promenade, it will open towards the river, welcoming passers-by. This is also where fans are expected to arrive in large numbers. Semi-open spaces will not only be created on ground level but also one floor above, where a 280-square-meter balcony will offer guests a better view of the city and river.
The balcony is also planned as part of the stadium's hospitality offer, which in total will exceed 1,000 m2, split between three of the five above-ground levels. As one would expect, skyboxes will top the entire area. On a weekly level the modular hospitality part can be used for conference and banqueting.
As for the auditorium itself, it will hold nearly 5,400 people, which means the stadium will fall short of UEFA Category 4. The main grandstand will be created in the south west, accommodating media representatives and disabled supporters. The Danube end (west) will have a standing block for more vocal fans, while the northern 'gegengerade' is planned as a family section.
Designed by Atelier Mauch, the stadium is expected to be energy-efficient with LED lighting. It's also possible to cover the roof with solar panels, though they won't be part of the initial build. The price tag may stand in the way. Initially expected to be around €9 million, upon presentation they were estimated between €12-15 million.
Of that pool the state of Upper Austria would contribute up to €3 million, the city is to cover the remainder. Should financing fall into place, construction could begin already in mid-2021. It's expected to last until the summer of 2023.