Graz stadium debate is gaining momentum

Graz stadium debate is gaining momentum

Image: GEPA pictures/ Chris Bauer

Plans for a possible takeover of the Merkur Arena by Sturm were exchanged, but there was also a negative professional opinion for the Weinzödl expansion. A regular special committee is now to meet, and a two-stage solution is still being sought, according to the KPÖ.

On Friday, both clubs were informed of current statements from the responsible departments of the city and state: “Accordingly, an expansion of Weinzödl as a possible home for the GAK is unfortunately not feasible,” said SP club chairman Michael Ehmann, coordinator in the stadium complex. The hydrological statement states, among other things, that the construction of a stadium cannot be advocated in order to protect the groundwater.

Therefore, one must now agree on a new location. The city will continue to look for a “solution that is good for both clubs and feasible for the city”. In the special committee, which meets regularly, all municipal council parties as well as club representatives should have their say. “It’s about the broadest possible integration, about flat structures for the rapid preparation of decisions, about the greatest possible transparency,” says Ehmann. A two-stage solution still has priority. A Champions League-ready redesign of the Merkur Arena as a home for both clubs remains as plan B in the talon.

Mayor Elke Kahr (KPÖ) spoke of a setback in the question of location: “The feasibility studies, which were carried out by the responsible departments of the province of Styria and the city of Graz, have unfortunately shown that a stadium suitable for the Bundesliga is not possible in Weinzödl for technical reasons .” It is now all the more important to examine the proposals made by Sturm President Christian Jauk in detail and at the same time to press ahead with the search for a location for the GAK, Kahr said.

For Jauk it is now clear: “There will be no quick solution to the stadium question – which we are aiming for!”, explained the storm president in a club broadcast. The storm’s proposal to acquire the Liebenau stadium via the building permit is now being “seriously examined”, exact figures are not publicly known. “Mayor Elke Kahr has promised us that the process has now officially started – by the end of the year the two-stage solution should be on the table,” said Jauk.

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