Germany: Cash is tight, but Energie is planning a stadium upgrade

source: [RZ]; author: Rafał Zagrobelny

Germany: Cash is tight, but Energie is planning a stadium upgrade More than ten years have passed since Stadion der Freundschaft was last modernised. The authorities of Energie have decided that this is too much and are planning an investment. The priority is the most outdated west stand.


At first, information about Energie Cottbus' plans appeared in the local media, later the club's management officially confirmed it. The western stand of the Cottbus stadium will be renovated. It's high time for that, because although Energie played in the Bundesliga for several seasons in the 21st century, this part of the venue has been waiting for improvement since the 1980s.

Stadion der Freundschaft, Cottbus© Philip Schilf

We have developed a concept of how we can do this over the next few years, depending on which competition level we play at - Energie CEO Sebastian Lemke told the rbb website. The only thing that is missing to make the project complete is a precise timeline and... funding.

Over the last few years, the club from eastern Germany has been in a total crisis. It started with the relegation from the Bundesliga in season 2008/09. After seven consecutive seasons, the team from Cottbus was already playing in Regionalliga Nordost (fourth tier of the competition in Germany).  

For a long time, the club does not get as much money as before from television rights and sponsors. Match days also contribute less to the club's budget. And the upkeep of the large stadium costs a lot - as much as  €1.5 million per year.

The fact that Energie has more expenses than income has been talked about for a long time. Already in September 2019, we informed about how the dramatic budget situation could lead to a move to the athletic Südstadion.

Stadion der Freundschaft, Cottbus
© Philip Schilf

So where did the idea to modernise the stadium come from now? A little over a year ago, a new management board was appointed in Energie, which set itself the goal of straightening the financial situation of the club. It started with staff layoffs and salary cuts.

The new management board communicated openly with the media and fans, explaining the reasons for the budget deficit and preparing recovery plans. In addition to the new sponsors, the budget gap was also filled by fans who agreed to contribute € 120 per person. A total of € 250,000 was raised.

Moreover, 14 players said goodbye to the team in the summer. A small but well-balanced squad was left. Sportwise it did not hurt Energie at all, because the team is currently second in the table. What are the finances?

We are now in a much better condition than a year ago, but we still have to keep a close eye on the situation, says president Lemke.  

Stadion der Freundschaft, Cottbus
© Philip Schilf

The improved situation means that the deficit has been reduced, but the coffers are still empty. So where is the board going to get the money for the investment? The club's plan is to obtain external funding.

There are already discussions with the local government on this matter. If they go well, the modernisation of the western stand will become a fact. The detailed work scope is not known yet, but it is known that the renovation will include new VIP lounges and conference rooms for rent.

Author: Rafał Zagrobelny