Summit without result – the stadium theater in Graz never ends

Again there was no result at the umpteenth summit on Tuesday in the town hall. Now we have to wait for two feasibility studies.

Less than 24 hours after tens of thousands of fans had turned the Graz city center black and white at Sturm’s double party, Graz City Hall was once again the focus of football fans. On Monday, captain Stefan Hierländer’s men signed the Golden Book, and on Tuesday the stadium committee met at exactly the same place, namely in the city senate meeting room. A solution to the endless stadium debate was needed. The meeting began at 5 p.m., and was attended by city manager Elke Kahr, KPÖ party colleague and city councilor for finance Manfred Eber and committee chairwoman Daniela Schlüsselberger (SPÖ), as well as representatives from Sturm and GAK and the stadium administration. After just over two hours, it was clear – the stadium theater on the Mur would go into another extension. A definitive solution was not presented again. Rather, the same options are still up for grabs that were on the table at the first stadium summit last summer. So, on the one hand, an extension/renovation of the aging Liebenau Arena or the construction of a new stadium on a greenfield site. Under the leadership of the city planning department, three locations in the south of Graz were presented for a possible new stadium on Tuesday. The site in Puntigam is still in pole position. For a possible new building, 4,000 to 7,000 euros per seat were calculated – depending on the capacity, this would result in costs of between 80 and 140 million euros including the purchase of the land. “The aim is that we end up with two stadiums that are financially viable,” says Green Party chairman Karl Dreisiebner. But nothing is set in stone yet. And so the local council is to commission two feasibility studies – one for the extension in Liebenau and the other for a new stadium in Puntigam. “The feasibility study is usually completed in eight months – we have calculated around 50 months for the realization of both projects, although a possible environmental impact assessment can of course be an additional time factor for the Puntigam location,” explains city planning director Bertram Werle. The new stadium could be the large solution for both clubs with 25,000 seats, or the smaller (GAK) variant for 10,000 to 15,000 spectators. “We need a fair solution that both clubs can live with as well as possible at the end of the day,” stresses city councilor Eber. In any case, the installation of the safety adaptations in Liebenau that have become necessary due to GAK’s promotion will begin as soon as possible.
source site-12