Government funding has changed a lot when it comes to plans to improve Plovdiv's football infrastructure. The construction of Stadion Lokomotiv, which received the green light from the city authorities, starts soon.
New stand every year
The first concept for stadium's reconstruction emerged in 2010, but after a few years the project was abandoned. Thanks to government funding granted to the city of Plovdiv in February 2020, plans to improve football infrastructure for two local clubs have been revived. Botev received BGN 25 million (€ 12,8 million) and Lokomotiv BGN 12 million (€ 6 million).
On December 31, 2020, the municipality of Plovdiv reached an agreement with Rudin OOD, which became the contractor of the new Lokomotiv stadium. The aforementioned entity is obliged to build three stands with a capacity of 9,000 seats for a total amount of BGN 10 million (currently € 5.1 million), which is BGN 2 million less than the initial budget. Construction time is 1,080 days and works may start at the end of May.
On May 5, the municipality of Plovdiv issued a building permit, which started a 14-day period during which an appeal against its decision could have been be made. Since there was no report of protests, the contractor is able to enter the site and begin the first phase - the construction of "Besika" stand.
Documentation of "Besika" tribune is ready and technical details of the next two tribunes ("Sportklub" and south stand) are under preparation. The main stand is still in the conceptual stage as available financing does not allow for its construction. Once completed, the stadium will have a total capacity of 14,000 seats.
The same, only on paper, is the expansion of infrastructure around the stadium. The plan is to open one new tribune each subsequent construction year. The designer of the facility is Inzhproekt OOD.
Besika by the end of this year?
Stadion Lokomotiv will replace the old facility located near Lauta Park in the south-eastern part of the city. The arena will consist of four independent, single-tier stands, which will be covered with a flat roof. Corners are to remain undeveloped. The construction works will start from "Besika" tribune, where the most ardent Lokomotiv fans normally sit.
"Besika" was demolished in 2004 and a temporary structure has been installed in its place in recent years. Its new facilities are expected to include a museum, club shop and restaurants. All this is to be located on the ground floor. According to UEFA recommendations, the roof of this stand is to protect at least 70% of spectators from rain. The works are to be completed by the end of this year.
The main (central) stand will have 5 floors of back-up facilities, which will include VIP areas, administration rooms and a conference room. Media representatives are to use two TV studios and several booths for commentators. Each of the tribunes will have 26 rows. A sector for traveling fans is to be located on the south stand.
Author: Tomasz Sobura