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Vai nacionālais futbola stadions jābūvē Lucavsalā?

Rīga mulls football stadium on Lucavsala island

Riga City Council (RD) will soon have to decide whether to build a national football stadium in Lucavsala. More than 10 hectares of land has already been supported for the purpose by the responsible local government committee, Latvian Radio reported on April 4.

The Football Federation says the site in Lucavsala has been chosen because it does not overlap with any other building plans and is central. Residents, meanwhile, have expressed concern about the site chosen for the stadium and what the construction of new infrastructure will mean for it. Some of the urban gardens that are an essential recreation place for city residents will suffer, noted Marta Kotello, spokeswoman for the Neighborhood Alliance:

“If infrastructure was already there, it probably wouldn't be the fault of that stadium, but there's nothing, which means that this connection will also go over the Kazas Shallow, which has more than 300 garden units. It is clear that no garden will be able to grow around this infrastructure. ”

RD said that the construction of the football stadium will not affect the gardens, however, they will be affected by joint development plans for the area, which envisages a transport link between Bauskas Street and Mūkusalas Street across Lucavsala.

Doubts that Lucavsala is the most suitable place for the construction of such a stadium have also been expressed by the society “City for People”. According to them, the stadium, like the hockey arena in the Skanste neighborhood, should be built on one of the outskirts of Rīga, thus enabling this neighborhood to develop.

The local government said that nine potential stadium venues had been evaluated beforehand, including Uzvaras Park, Ziepniekkalns, Rumbula, Arkādijas Park, Jugla, but it has been concluded that Lucavsala would be best. 

The plot of land in Lucavsala is planned to be transferred for use to the Latvian Football Federation until the moment when the immovable property is necessary for the local government to ensure its functions, but not longer than for five years. Within five years, the Football Federation must develop stadium construction documentation. Vadims Lašenko, President of the Football Federation, currently estimates the construction costs of the stadium at EUR 50 million.

The end of the project is planned in 2027 at the earliest.

Latvia is the only country in Europe that does not have a Category 4 stadium to host international competitions for the team, said the federation. This type of football stadium would also be suitable for mass events, concerts and conferences.

The municipality plans to explain the plan for the construction of the football stadium in Lucavsala to residents at a seminar on April 9. It will also be possible to watch on RD's website. However, the local government still has to decide on the handling of the land, which it will probably discuss at the RD meeting on April 17.

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