City gives football federation second chance at stadium lot

The deputies of the Riga City Council Property Committee again approved Latvian Football Federation (LFF) plans to construct a sports center and stadium complex at the exclusive uptown location at which it once already took a crack, reported LETA Monday.

The municipal property department once before had submitted backing for the LFF proposal in January 2012. However, financial difficulties prevented any progress according to international football federation requirements in the permitted time, and the ruling lost effect.

LFF general secretary Janis Mezeckis, who participated in the committee meeting confirmed that the organization has 7m euro in support from the international football federations UEFA and FIFA, therefore wishes to reassume the project leadership.

“Latvia is the only state in the EU without its proper stadium, for its national team to train. So we also needed to resolve what to do with the Skonto stadium, now that’s done and we can devote ourselves entirely to the new project,” Mezeckis said.

Drawing up and design approval must be completed by January 2016, while construction must be done by May 2017, according to the project proposal.

The terms of the arrangement provide for the federation to take over non-profit use of the land upon receipt of construction permits for a period of ten years. During that time the city will share in the benefits of promoting youth sports and football in particular within its administrative territory.

The land tract located between Kr.Barona, Ērgļu and Čaka streets includes a number of buildings and lots assessed altogether at 1,07m euros.

However, the city council still needs to give final approval to the deal at one of its regular sittings.

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