Arena Zabrze (Stadion im. Ernesta Pohla)
|Clubs||KS Górnik Zabrze SSA|
|Inauguration||21/02/2016 (Górnik Zabrze - Ruch Chorzów, 0-2)|
|Construction||14/09/2011 - ?|
|Record attendance||24,563 (Górnik Zabrze - Ruch Chorzów, 21/02/2016)|
|Design||GMT sp. z o. o.|
|Address||Roosevelta 81, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland|
Arena Zabrze – stadium description
The need for a new stadium in Zabrze was apparent in early 2000s. Old facilities dates back to Nazi Germany and Górnik was drawing some of the largest crowds across Poland. Additionally the option of investment by insurance giant Allianz (eventually dropped out) prompted the project.
In 2009 the concept was drawn for a new football-only stadium to replace dated landfill stands. Simple seating bowl of reinforced concrete would have two tiers and accommodate roughly 32,000 people. From the outside a lightweight metal cladding was designed, giving it a modern appearance. Roof, partly covered with glass, reaches the highest point at 31.5m.
To allow constant football use during reconstruction (and to facilitate financing for the city) works were divided into two phases. First one was launched in September 2011 and saw three stands for 24,000 people grow. Once these are completed the fourth one is to follow. However, during construction all crucial amenities (business club, control room, media facilities, spaces for disabled fans) were created within the three new stands, ensuring that the stadium meets all requirements even if the fourth grandstand wouldn’t come for years.
Initially hoped to end in spring of 2013, the first phase was met with severe delays, largely with general contractor Polimex-Mostostal at fault. The company lost its contract in late 2013 and since then numerous minor tenders were issued to finish this phase, seeing eventual delivery date pushed as late as June 2016.
With over 50,000 square meters of floor space (including second phase) the stadium is one of Poland’s largest and also offers underground parking spaces under the east stand. Additionally, two training fields in the east were replaced by a new public plaza with ticket offices, under which further parking spaces were created. Commercial outlets cover the south edge of the plot, ensuring additional income to sustain the stadium. The deadline for the construction of the fourth stand is not known yet.
First ever game to be played at the stadium was the Upper Silesia’s Grand Derby between Górnik and Ruch, which also proved to be the first ever sold out event at the stadium.
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