Hofmann Personal Stadion (Donauparkstadion)
|Clubs||FC Blau-Weiß Linz|
|Cost||€44 M ($47 M)|
|Design||Atelier Mauch, Reinhardt Gallister, Itai Margula|
|Contractor||Granit Bauunternehmung GmbH|
Hofmann Personal Stadion – stadium description
What did the former Donauparkstadion look like?
The origins of the former FC Blau-Weiß Linz venue go back to 1935, when a pitch was built on the banks of the Danube, next to the railway bridge (now a road bridge), for the football team representing the local tobacco factory. In the first half of the 1950s, the pitch was turned 90 degrees, and in the first half of the 1990s the facility was upgraded with a new covered stand and floodlights.
In 1997, SV Austria Tabak merged with FC Linz to form FC Blau-Weiß Linz. The stadium, previously known as Tabak-Sportplatz, was renamed Donauparkstadion (in reference to the nearby boulevards known as Donaulände or Donaupark).
The new club played in the second tier of the league competition from 2011–2013 and 2016–2023. As the modest Donauparkstadion could not host matches at this level, the team moved to the much larger Linzer Stadion.
How was the new Donauparkstadion built?
How did the construction of the new stadium for FC Blau-Weiß Linz come about?
Linz's other football club, Linzer ASK (LASK), also playing at Linzer Stadion, had been planning the construction of a new facility for some time. In the summer of 2019, an agreement was reached with the city and Upper Austrian authorities, according to which Linzer Stadion was to be completely redeveloped into a football-specific facility and should henceforth primarily serve LASK footballers.
As compensation for FC Blau-Weiß, which was about to move out of Linzer Stadion due to plans to build a new facility for LASK, the city and Upper Austrian authorities undertook to help build a new stadium for the club.
Details of the agreement were announced on July 3, 2019, outlining the entire infrastructure package, according to which Linz was soon to have not only two new football stadiums, but also a new facility for athletics, and the sports hall in the Kleinmünchen district was to undergo a major upgrade.
Why was the new FC Blau-Weiß Linz stadium built on the roof of a furniture warehouse?
At the same time, Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich was planning to build new premises to replace the XXXLutz furniture retail chain's shop on Goethestraße. In return, the retail chain was offered a site for the new shop on Hafenstraße, next to the Donauparkstadion.
As FC Blau-Weiß was about to get a new stadium, cooperation was established with XXXLutz on the developments planned close to each other. In order to make maximum use of the available space, the idea was born for the stadium to stand on the roof of a furniture warehouse (a furniture store was to be built alongside).
The idea was inspired by the new stadium of Belgrade club FK Voždovac, which was built on the roof of a shopping center. In September 2019, a delegation from Linz, led by the city authorities, visited Belgrade to see for themselves how such a solution works in practice. The feedback was positive, so it was decided to implement a similar idea in Linz.
When was the new Donauparkstadion built?
On December 9, 2019, the first concept for the new stadium on the warehouse rooftop was presented by Architekten Kneidinger. The new concept for the FC Blau-Weiß stadium, created by Atelier Mauch (collaboration: Reinhardt Gallister and Itai Margula), was shown on October 21, 2020. Despite costs rising exponentially, the project received the green light from the city authorities in early 2021. Worth €29.85 million, the construction contract was signed in July 2021 with Granit Bauunternehmung GmbH.
On September 16, 2021, a ceremony took place at Donauparkstadion to symbolically inaugurate the construction of the new facility. The old stadium was demolished at the end of the year, after which the proper construction work began. Construction went according to plan and the new facility was ready in the summer of 2023.
The new stadium was built just in time for FC Blau-Weiß's inaugural season in the Austrian Bundesliga, as in 2023 the team, after an exciting end to the competition, topped the 2nd League table, being promoted to the highest league level for the first time in its history (the team also topped the 2nd League in 2021, but at that time the club opted out of applying for a Bundesliga licence, postponing a possible promotion until it already had a new stadium).
What name was given to the new Donauparkstadion?
Due to the demolition of Linzer Stadion, in 2021 the FC Blau-Weiß Linz team temporarily moved to a modest facility in the southern part of the city, belonging to the football association of Upper Austria. At that time, the stadium even gained a title sponsor, which became the employment company Hofmann Personal. The cooperation was decided to continue and Hofmann Personal also became the title sponsor of the new Donauparkstadion, which took the name Hofmann Personal Stadion.
What was the cost of building the new stadium for FC Blau-Weiß Linz?
The cost of building the entire facility (including the furniture warehouse), after increases due to price escalation of construction materials and services and the addition of costs for interior finishing and furnishings, at the end amounted to €44 million. The main burden of financing was borne by the city (in the form of its own contribution and through bank loans taken out). €3 million was also contributed to the project by the Upper Austrian authorities.
The city owns the building and although it is dedicated to two main users (a furniture retail chain and a football club), they act as tenants. All tenants (including the occupiers of additional commercial space) are to pay a total rent of €1.3 million per year (of which, FC Blau-Weiß is to pay €303,000 for the use of the stadium).
When was the new FC Blau-Weiß Linz stadium inaugurated?
The official opening of the new stadium took place on July 5, 2023. On July 15, the first match took place there, when FC Blau-Weiß faced the Dutch PSV Eindhoven in a friendly (1:2). The first official match took place on August 6, in the 2nd round of the Austrian Bundesliga against TSV Hartberg (3:3).
What are the characteristics of Hofmann Personal Stadion?
Where is Hofmann Personal Stadion located?
FC Blau-Weiß Linz's new stadium is located close to the banks of the Danube, along the road leading to the Neue Eisenbahnbrücke, near the Donaupark (Donaulände) boulevard and relatively close to the city center. The facility was built partly on the site of the former FC Blau-Weiß stadium (Donauparkstadion), although the pitch was rotated by about 90 degrees relative to the previous one, and the new facility, including the stands, covers a much larger area, so that the outline has widened considerably in a south-easterly direction.
What is unique about Hofmann Personal Stadium?
An integral part of the building is the warehouse serving the XXXLutz furniture chain, while the stadium itself was built on its roof, one level above the street. The inspiration for this unique solution came from the stadium of FK Voždovac club from Belgrade, which is located on the roof of a shopping mall. The building also includes additional space for shops and/or services. A furniture store of the XXXLutz retail chain is also to be built right next to the stadium/warehouse.
What does Hofmann Personal Stadium look like?
The building has a simple, rectangular form and is clad in a transparent façade. Located on the roof, the stadium has been given four stands, on each side of the pitch, which are connected by four corner concrete blocks. The stands have been raised above the pitch. The main stand with a VIP area is located on the south-west side; the opposite stand is slightly narrower than the others.
The capacity of the stands is 5,595 spectators, of which there are 2,812 seats. The facility has 10 skyboxes and the premium seating area offers a total of 600 seats. The stadium has a catering service and the entire hospitality area, spread over three floors, is also open outside match days. The building is enhanced by an outdoor terrace with views of the Danube. The Danube panorama can also be observed from the top of the stand behind the north goal.
The auditorium is fully covered and six pylons carrying LED floodlights rise above the roof. In two corners, video screens have also been attached to the roof. Despite sitting on the rooftop of the building, the stadium's pitch has natural turf and is equipped with drainage and a heating system. The stadium meets UEFA Category 3 requirements.
How can you get to Hofmann Personal Stadium?
There is a shortage of parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the venue and visitors are advised to arrive by public transport, on foot, by bicycle or to use the Parkhaus Hafen Linz car park, more than one kilometre away from the stadium.