The Slovenia Times

Slovenian Builder for the New Stadium



Ljubljana looks set to finally get a much-needed new football stadium, as the construction company Gradis skupina G was recently selected for the construction of the stadium and a multi-purpose indoor arena on the outskirts of the city.

In the biggest public-private partnership ever in Ljubljana, the city is contributing a building plot of almost 190,000 sq. metres on the northern outskirts of the city while the private partner provides funding. The private partner has to build a 16,000-seat stadium and a 12,000-seat indoor arena by mid-2010, but in exchange it also gets to build a shopping mall for itself.

Gradis, one of only two bidders to have submitted binding offers, was joined in the bid by the construction company Energoplan and Merkur, the biggest chain of hardware and home entertainment stores in the country. Gradis offered EUR 81m for a 51% stake in the joint venture with the City of Ljubljana and outbid a Slovenian-Dutch consortium, which offered EUR 45m.

Now the city will determine the criteria for the sports facilities, while the private partner is free to do what it wants with the shopping mall. Accordingly, the city will own the stadium and sports hall, and the private partner will get ownership of the shopping mall and the accompanying parking lot.

Plans for a new stadium have been in the making since 1999, when the Slovenian team qualified for the Euro 2000 and the ensuing euphoria involved calls for an appropriate facility.

Ljubljana has a stadium, but the facility, built by the acclaimed Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik in the 1930s and considered a precious piece of architectural heritage, is unfit for international games and it has been gradually falling apart.

The Ljubljana city council last October confirmed a resolution enabling the renovation of the run-down central stadium at Bežigrad. The city council decided that it will be renovated and run by a consortium consisting of the Municipality of Ljubljana, the Slovenian Olympic Committee and the company GSA owned by Joze Pečečnik, the president of the Interblock sports club.


More from Nekategorizirano