Maksimir and Poljud Stadiums Declared Sports Buildings of National Interest

Daniela Rogulj

Photo by Zvonimir Barisin/PIXSELL

July 6, 2023 – Maksimir and Poljud stadiums have been declared sports buildings of national interest by the Croatian Government.

The president of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić, and the Croatia national team coach, Zlatko Dalić, welcomed today’s decision by the Croatian Government to declare Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb and Poljud Stadium in Split as sports buildings of national interest, reports HNS.

The new Law on Sports stipulates the possibility that the Government can, by decision, declare certain sports buildings as sports buildings of national interest. At today’s session, the Government declared Maksimir and Poljud stadiums as such.

“We are extremely pleased with today’s decision by the Croatian Government, which confirms the already announced and firm commitment of the current Government to support the construction and renovation of sports infrastructure. The construction of Maksimir and the renovation of Poljud are strategically important projects for the future of Croatian football and the two largest Croatian football clubs, Dinamo and Hajduk. Of course, we are most pleased that the Croatia national team will finally have the opportunity to play at two large, modern, comfortable and suitable stadiums in the two largest Croatian cities. We all agree that the Vatreni deserved it with their world-class results, and as a Federation, we will support these projects in the maximum possible way. I am additionally encouraged by the announcement that the preconditions have been created for investments in sports infrastructure in other cities in partnership with local communities. Therefore, I believe this is a historic decision with capital value for Croatian football and sports in general,” said the HNS president, Marijan Kustić.

By declaring the stadiums in Split and Zagreb as sports buildings of national interest, it will be possible to co-finance their construction, renovation or reconstruction through an invitational tender following the funds provided in the state budget.

“I am thrilled and emotional about today’s decision to declare Maksimir and Poljud as sports buildings of national interest, which is the first step towards constructing a new stadium in Zagreb and restoring the beautiful Poljud. The Croatia national team has achieved exceptional results in the international arena. It has done a lot for the promotion of our country. This week we welcomed concrete moves by the Government, which, by donating land for a football camp and today’s decision for Maksimir and Poljud, showed that it respects our results and the role of football in Croatian society. I am proud that with the results of the past years, we encouraged the Government to make such capital investments because the football camp, the new Maksimir and the renovated Poljud will be a visible and significant legacy of this great generation led by Captain Modrić,” said Zlatko Dalić.

The criteria for declaring sports buildings of national interest were established based on the proposals of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Croatian Paralympic Committee and the Croatian Sports Association of the Deaf, who then, on March 20 of this year, proposed those two stadiums as sports buildings of national interest.

The Croatian Football Federation prepared an analysis proposing criteria for determining priorities for investing in football stadiums. The essential criteria are the number of inhabitants in the counties, cities and municipalities where the sports facility is located, meeting the requirements for playing matches of the A national team and the highest level of international club competitions, which according to UEFA rules, can only be played in stadiums in the fourth category. Among the essential criteria is the capacity of the sports building for sports competitions or concerts.

In its decision, the Government emphasized that it will continue with investments in sports infrastructure and, if necessary, it will be able to declare other sports buildings as sports buildings of national interest. Also, the Government announced that national and European funds would be available for investment, such as an integrated territorial program, through which all interested cities can request co-financing to renovate sports infrastructure following their priorities.

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