Stadion Hradec Králové
|Clubs||FC Hradec Králové|
|Cost||Kč 763 M ($34.7 M)|
|Design||Tomáš Vymetálek Architects, ARCHaPLAN|
|Construction||Strabag, Geosan Group, D&D Elektromont|
Stadion Hradec Králové – stadium description
How did the construction of the new stadium in Hradec Králové come about?
What was the first plan for the new stadium in Hradec Králové?
The first concept for a new stadium in Hradec Králové to replace the existing Všesportovní stadion was drawn up in 2008. The project was to be realised through the city's cooperation with a private investor, the ECE company, which was to receive the land for the construction of a shopping centre. The concept for the stadium was developed by the Casua studio. The facility was to hold 12,000 spectators and the project was named Aréna Hradec Králové.
A building permit was issued at the beginning of 2013, but at the end of the same year ECE withdrew from the project. It was to be replaced by HB Reavis, but this also failed to materialise. In the end, the city authorities decided to finance the construction of the future stadium without the help of an investor.
Who created the concept for the new stadium in Hradec Králové?
The new concept for the stadium in Hradec Králové, presented in early 2015, was developed by architect Tomáš Vymetálek. The new football stadium was designed to hold 10,000 spectators. The design included the retention of the distinctive floodlighting masts from the old facility. An updated concept for the stadium, prepared by the same author, was shown at the end of 2016. The project was to cost up to Kč 400 million to complete and the capacity fell just below the 10,000 spectators limit.
In the following years, however, the construction of the new stadium failed to materialise, with successive tenders ending in failure. In autumn 2017, only a partial demolition of the west stand was carried out, and in 2020 the concept was updated again, but it did not change significantly.
When was the contractor for the new stadium in Hradec Králové selected?
The breakthrough came in 2021, and on April 14, of that year the contract for the construction of the new arena was signed. The contractor was a consortium of Strabag, Geosan Group and D&D Elektromont. The value of the contract was initially Kč 568 million (excluding tax) and the work was to take two years. The stadium was to hold 8,000 spectators, with an option to increase capacity to 9,300 spectators.
On May 8, 2021, FC Hradec Králové secured promotion, after a four-season hiatus, to the top division at its home stadium, thanks to a 2:1 victory over Dukla Prague. Two weeks later, on May 22, the club played its last game at the old venue (1:1 against SK Líšeň). From the new season onwards, the team temporarily played its matches at the stadium in Mladá Boleslav.
How did the construction of the new stadium in Hradec Králové proceed?
When did the construction of the new stadium in Hradec Králové begin?
Work on the new stadium began in August 2021. During the first six months, mainly demolition, design and preparation work was carried out, and the actual construction of the new facility began in early 2022. The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone took place on February 22, 2022.
Who prepared the design of the new stadium in Hradec Králové?
The general designer of the facility was ARCHaPLAN studio (headed by arch. Robert Prix), which prepared the design documentation in cooperation with the author of the concept, Tomáš Vymetálek.
What changes to the assumptions occurred during the construction of the new stadium in Hradec Králové?
Initially, the demolition work did not include the back of the main stand of the old stadium, which was located on the eastern side. As the backstage area was suitable for further use, the final decision on its fate was left for later.
In June 2022, it was decided that the building would nevertheless be demolished (the demolition was carried out in the first half of 2023) and replaced by car parks. At the same time, it was also decided to increase the capacity of the stadium to 9,300 spectators. The changes were associated with an increase in construction costs.
Meanwhile, as part of the search for savings, the appearance of the stadium's facade was impoverished during the preparation of the final design.
When was the new stadium in Hradec Králové opened?
The construction was completed with a slight delay and the opening of the stadium took place on August 5, 2023, on the occasion of the 3rd round Fortuna:Liga match between FC Hradec Králové and Dynamo České Budějovice (5:1). The final cost of the stadium was Kč 763 million (including tax) and was covered by the city budget. The new facility was given the name "Hradec Králové Stadium", although it is possible that this will change with the arrival of a title sponsor.
What does the new stadium in Hradec Králové look like?
The new facility was built on the site of the former stadium, which had existed since the 1960s. The pitch remained exactly where it was, while completely new stands were built around it, much closer to the playing field as the facility was transformed into a typical football arena. The location of the main stand has also changed and this time it is located on the west side.
From the old stadium, it was decided to keep the characteristic floodlighting masts, which were moved slightly closer to the pitch. The masts were built in 1975 and at the time were a courageous, ahead-of-its-time design. Their unique design was reminiscent of lollipops, earning the entire facility the nickname 'Pod lízátky' ('Under the lollipops'). The floodlight masts in the new stadium are supported by reflectors mounted on the edge of the roof.
The capacity of the stadium is 9,300 spectators. Single-tier, fully-covered stands surround the pitch on all sides and the first rows are clearly above the level of the pitch. The stands are equipped with folding seats in white and shades of grey. Two video screens have been installed above the stands behind the goals. The main stand has VIP seats and 12 skyboxes. A pavilion with facilities is adjacent to the outside.
The stadium is owned by the city and its main tenant is FC Hradec Králové. The facility ranks among the most modern football venues in the Czech Republic and meets the requirements of UEFA Category 4. The stadium has a typical football profile, but is also suitable for other sporting and non-sporting events, such as concerts, with a capacity of 25,000.
The stadium is located on the River Orlice, in the Malšovice district, very close to the city center. Its surroundings include training pitches and car parks. The facility is surrounded by a 600-metre asphalt running track designed for recreational runners.
New stadium: Inauguration in Hradec Králové despite problems on match day
The new stadium in Hradec Králové, located on the River Orlice, is a combination of modernity and tradition. Its construction, although not without challenges, has brought the city an arena that meets the highest UEFA standards.