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Yet Another Sports Stadium to Be Built in Budapest

By Fanni Kaszás // 2018.04.24.

A new athletic center will be built on a 15-hectare territory in the IX. district next to Kvassay locks, within the framework of the Ferenc Kemény Sports facility development program. The new stadium, which is the latest in a long-string of state-funded arenas to be built under the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, will be planned by the Napur Architecht firm.

The territory in the IX. district was purchased by the state from Wing Zrt. in 2014 for 16.5 billion Forints (EUR 52.7 million) as part of Hungary’s abandoned bid to host the 2024 Olympics. As napi.hu has previously reported, the new sports center will cost 4.7 billion Forints (EUR 15 million), financed by the Hungarian state. The tender was won last October by Napur Architect Kft, the planning company that designed the Duna Arena.

Earlier this month, Balázs Fürjes, Government Comissioner for Major Budapest Developments, said that the building is primarily needed because there is “a burning lack of athletic training and competition opportunities in the capital.” He also claimed that it is only a coincidence that the same company won the tender that planned the Duna Arena, as it was supposedly an open, anonymous competition, and the name of the winner was only revealed after the announcement of the result.

The athletic stadium will be able to accommodate up to 15,000 people, which is enough for domestic and international tournaments, and it will be expandable to 55,000 in the event of major international competitions.

photo: Napur Architect

Besides the plans for the new athletic center, the reconstruction of the Puskás Ferenc Stadium is set to be completed by the end of 2019. The Hungarian government’s stadium-building scheme, and what the Guardian has described as PM Orbán’s “reckless football obsession”, has been a subject of constant criticism from opposition parties.

When construction on the new Puskás stadium started, right-wing opposition party Jobbik  called on the Hungarian government to reveal the reasons behind the soaring reconstruction costs. They implied that the cost of the new stadium will be among the most expensive in western Europe based on costs in relation to capacity.

In 2011 the construction was budgeted for 35 billion forints (around EUR 112 million); that number rocketed to 190 billion (EUR 610 million) in 2018. While the Puskas Stadium costs 638 million euros (HUF 200 billion), Arsenal’s stadium cost 461 million (HUF 146 billion); Allianz Arena, the largest stadium in Munich 340 million (HUF 150 billion), and Benfica’s similarly-sized Lisbon stadium was only 118 million euros (HUF 36 billion). The recently closed Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet implied earlier this year that not just the costs of construction but the maintenance of the stadium will also be high.

via 24.hu, napi.hu, MTI