The issue of a much-needed national football stadium has come to the fore again as freshly instated PM Robert Fico looks set to adopt it as one of his more popular projects over the next four years.
Speaking to the press before Easter, Fico said he had hopes that the new stadium could be a reality before the end of this term of office, despite the difficult financial situation. Slovakia has been lacking a national stadium for years (reportedly the only country in Europe not to have one), but the outgoing government approved partial funding for it in December 2011, in the hope of attracting the right investor.
To date several parties have expressed an interest in taking on the project, most notably the owner of Slovan Bratislava football team Ivan Kmotrik, but he is allegedly not so keen on getting into bed with the state in the project, which has an estimated cost of EUR 50 – 60 million.
If Kmotrik were to be involved in the construction, it would be built on the site of Tehelne Pole, which is currently derelict. PM Fico hinted that in his opinion the Tehelne Pole site is the best location for it, but there may be other issues at play here. When Robert Fico led the government back in 2009, he endorsed a EUR 70 million injection for the construction of the new stadium at Tehelne Pole.
Bratislava City Hall is still in favour of building the national football stadium on a green field, though, with land in Petrlzalka already pinpointed for the project. The stadium should be designed with a capacity of around 20,000, which is not so impressive, but given the attendance records of late, a bigger stadium would most likely be pointless, even when being used for other events like concerts.