After nearly 5 years without any progress, construction work has finally restarted on the site of Stadion Hristo Botev in Plovdiv. New contractors have pledged to finish in exactly 2 years.
The citizens of Plovdiv know these scenes all too well already: construction crews coming, clearing works ongoing, erection of cranes. Since work on the new PFC Botev stadium got stalled back in 2014, such images were on display twice. And every time they ended with crews exiting the field with nearly no work done, due to lack of secured funding.
But third time's a charm, hopefully. This time funding is secured and the final construction contract was signed on Wednesday, Dec 9. The city of Plovdiv has handed over the construction site to a joint venture led by PIMK (99%) and supported by Valmex (1%).
Starting on Wednesday, the clock is counting down from 730 days, or exactly two years, till December 9, 2022. This is when the new 18,000+ capacity stadium is supposed to be ready.
Though formally crews can be on the site since only last Wednesday, equipment was being brought in since November and the first crane is already standing and the second one is being assembled. At the same time, the 6-year-old existing sections are being evaluated and cleared from dust, rust and other signs of passing time.
Slightly less than anticipated by local authorities, the final contract is worth BGN 43.7 million (VAT excluded), which represents roughly €22.3 million today. Because we don't know the exact price tag of what has been built between 2012 and 2014, it's hard to estimate the final price tag of the new Stadion Hristo Botev.
Of the latest contract, just over half has been financed by the central government of Bulgaria. The remainder will be contributed by the city of Plovdiv, unless further grant is secured.