ONE HAS, ONE CAN

OCTOBER 11 2007 12:32h

PHOTO: Maksimir Stadium – World’s Most Expensive

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More costly than Europe’s biggest stadium Camp Nou, even more than the Emirates, the Maksimir Stadium will cost at least 4.35 bln kuna.

Althogh it is not yet known who will be the (un)lucky company that will get the job of reconstructing Zagreb’s Maksimir Stadium, it is certain that the new stadium will be the costliest site in Croatia.

Even if the city government on October 19 accepts the lowest bid, that by the German-Croatian company Max-Bogl-Tehnobeton, the citizens of Zagreb will have to earmark 4.35 billion kuna for the new stadium.

The price relates to the completion of the Maksimir Stadium, the construction of the Kajzerica stadium and the Svetice athletic stadium.

According to the Poslovni dnevnik daily, if Zagreb accepts the offer by Max-Bogl-Tehnobeton, the city will have to set aside 4.35 billion kuna. If it accepts the offer by Alpine Mayreder Austria, it will have to earmark 4.9 billion kuna, and as much as 5.99 billion kuna if Zagreb accepts the offer by IGH-Tehnika-Konstruktor-Zagreb Montaza.

Maksimir pricier than Camp Nou 

Believe it or not, the new Maksimir Stadium could become the most expensive stadium in the world.

If the lowest bid is accepted, a total of 506 million euros will be set aside for the stadium in 262 monthly instalments. Add to that 80 million euros that has already been spent for the reconstruction of Maksimir, the price is a stunning 600 million euros.

In comparison, for the recently completed reconstruction of Europe’s largest stadium, Camp Nou, the home of Spain’s Barcelona, that can receive more than 98,000 spectators, 250 million euros were spent.

London’s Arsenal last year constructed a new stadium, the Emirates, that seats 60,000. Its construction cost 430 million euros.

Liverpool will soon be getting a new stadium, Stanley Park, for 300 million euros.

A logical question arises. How is it possible that the construction, from scratch, of two new stadiums will cost less than the reconstruction of the Maksimir Stadium?

What will Zagreb gain? 

The biggest change in the Maksimir Stadium will be the athletic track, that is, its removal and construction in Svetice.

The south and east stands that were constructed in the 1960s will be torn down. According to latest UEFA standards, the stands do not meet the organisation and construction standards.

A novelty will also be the ITM system of covering the field with artificial grass. The system, implemented by the biggest world clubs, envisages so-called cassettes, 1.2 by 1.2  metres, in which artificial grass would be grown.

In a desperate attempt to get families to come to football matches, the architects envisaged a children’s playroom. Some 60 cafes and restaurants, various kiosks and a fitness centre will also find their place at the stadium.

A new underground garage will receive 867 vehicles.

The stadium will also have a mobile roof and will seat 51,000 spectators.

On Kajzerica, a stadium will be built for 15,000 to 20,000 spectators, buildings for athletes and the management and a hall that will seat 500 people.

The Zagreb neighbourhood will also get three new football fields, two with natural grass and one with artificial grass.

Look at what the stadium will look like in the PHOTO GALLERY.

Face lifting for the pride of Zagreb 

The Maksimir Stadium was opened on May 5, 1912 and lived through several reconstructions. This long soap opera of stadium reconstruction has lasted for more than a dozen years and for now, apart from the spent 80 million euros, nothing has been done.

Large scale works began in the autumn of 1997 when seats for the south and east stands were put up continued a year later when the old north stand was torn down and a new one put up with 10,965 seats. In  August 1999 the reconstruction of the west stand was completed with 12,600 seats.

And everything stopped there. For eight years now this “monument of Croatian football” sits in Maksimir, waiting for somebody capable to turn up and perform a face lifting. Can and will mayor Milan Bandic be more capable than his predecessors, even at the price of two British stadiums, remains to be seen. Back in 2004 Mayor Bandic said that if the stadium was not completed by 2006, citizens could spit in his face.