Despite encouraging signals from early autumn, the tender process for new Opole stadium is yet to begin. This in turn means groundbreaking could be moved as well.
You may recall, in late April the mayor of Opole has confirmed that a significant chunk of this year's investment budget would be shifted to cover the deficit in public revenue created by COVID-19. This meant no groundbreaking would happen this year, even though initially it was supposed to take place back in 2019.
The first year of delay was caused largely by extended delivery of necessary documentation. It wasn't until September that all design documents and planning permission were in place. At that point, on Sept 24, mayor Arkadiusz Wiśniewski indicated on Twitter that construction would be launched in 2021. His deputy clarified that tender would be over in early 2021, expected to begin before winter.
We're exactly 2 months past these statements and the tender is nowhere to be seen. Nor is any funding for the new 12,000-capacity stadium included in the project of next year's municipal budget. This, understandably, causes some pause among supporters who have been waiting since 2018 for the first shovel to go into the ground.
Also, the stadium's budget remains uncertain. Despite all necessary documents having been delivered, the city is yet to release updated financial estimates. As of today the only official budget estimate for the stadium is PLN 100 million (€22.4m), which dates back to late 2017 and is most certainly outdated. Inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic have changed conditions throughout the construction sector.
However, Opole's press officer Katarzyna Oborska-Marciniak argues that the project hasn't been abandoned. While she confirms that no funding is in place for the project, there's some flexibility in public spending and funding for early construction is still possible in 2021. All of the stadium and surrounding parking sites should be done in 2024.