New Dinamo Stadium Would Be “Capital Infrastructure Project of Zagreb”

Daniela Rogulj

Dinamo is making headlines again with the always hot topic – a new stadium. The timing is ideal, however, as it’s Christmas time and just hours before the Europa League match against Anderlecht. Better yet, the source is more than credible this time around – the longest president of Dinamo, Mirko Barišić.

The number one man in the Maksimir club, at the end of a brilliant year for Dinamo, dared to announce that they would build a new stadium in the near future, a project the city is already very familiar with. Mirko Barišić, who has successfully run Dinamo since 2000, revealed details of the future Dinamo stadium to Vecernji List on December 12, 2018. 

“According to our plans, we would collapse all the stands of the existing stadium, except the North, and build a new facility with a capacity of 25,000 viewers. The project leader would be Dinamo, while the City should approve location permits and infrastructure. But it’s too early to talk about the details, in a month to a month and a half we should know more,” Barišić said. 

Recall, the ‘dinosaur’ of a stadium, has had several reconstructions, though the last was in 1999. 

The construction of the Maksimir stands, according to the projects of Vladimir Turin, Eugen Ehrlich and Franjo Neidhardt began in 1952. Nine years later, lighting was implemented, and the East stands were built on the western part of the Hitrec-Kacian playground. The South stands were built in 1969.

Twenty years ago, according to the idea of Franjo Tudjman, the megalomaniacal reconstruction of Dinamo stadium began, which was completed by the construction of the new North and the addition of the West stands. Unfortunately, this overwhelming appearance of the stadium has remained to this day, with a capacity of 35,000 seats. In 2013, Dinamo arranged a dressing room under the South stands and built a hotel for players and a professional staff.

If Dinamo and the City really found a common language about the new stadium, it would be the capital infrastructure project of the capital city. At the moment, Zagreb is the worst football stadium in all of the major cities of our region.

The price and the look of the new project can now only be guessed and drawn parallel with similar projects in the region. Thus in Vienna, after the demolition of the Hanappi stadium, the new home of Rapid Wein, boasting 28,000 seats, was built. The price of this project was around 53 million euro. Dinamo’s new stadium, hopefully, should carry a much smaller price tag. 

The new football facility in Trnava, Slovakia, the Antona Malatinského stadium of 19,200 seats, where Dinamo recently played in the Europa League, cost 28 million euro, and the Nagyerdei stadium in Debrecen, Hungary, was 40 million euro. 

Since Croatia’s independence, no new stadium has been built with more than 10,000 seats. A new facility was built in Velika, where Kamen Ingrad once played, though the stadium was bought by the municipality of Velika on an auction of 2,140,000 kuna last year. A new stadium was also built in Dugopolje, as well in Rijeka (Rujevica) after the construction of the new stadium in Kantrida fell apart. 

The most critical football complex in Croatia should be launched in Osijek by mid-2020. There, the owner of NK Osijek, Meszaros, with the support of the Hungarian government, is building a football camp and a new stadium with a capacity of 12,500 thousand seats in the western part of the city, at Pampas. It is speculated that the whole project will cost 35 million euro. 

Otherwise, the story of building a new home for Dinamo is an old tale. In August 2016, the club released an information bomb so that Dinamo’s Executive Board would decide on launching the largest project – constructing a new stadium – at its next session.

“Dinamo would build a smaller, more functional stadium of about 20,000 seats, which would cost around 40 million euro,” it was announced then, though things got quiet once again. 

So the question still remains… will Dinamo ever get a new stadium?

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