Olympic Stadium drawings, Udinese agreement, and São Paulo delays
Some smaller bits of stadium news from the last week:
- West Ham United have released a few architectural drawings that show how they see the London Olympic Stadium post conversion:
An automated system using drive motors will move all four sides of the lower bowl forward to bring the seats closer to the pitch, thus ensuring that the running track will not be visible when the stadium is in football mode.
The designs are such that the seating distances will now compare favourably with the best in UK stadia such as the Emirates and Wembley and the top stadia around the world. By way of example they will be 10m closer to the goal line than the Stade De France in Paris, which boasts a similar system.
The text behind the two goals offers a suggestion of which two stands will be named after club legends Bobby Moore OBE and Sir Trevor Brooking.
- Udinese have reached agreement with the Udine municipality on a 99-year lease on the terrains of Stadio Friuli, which means that the redevelopment works on Friuli can start in the summer. While the lease and plans had already been announced in the summer of last year, it took until this week for the formal agreement to get signed.
- In the meantime, Cagliari Calcio have reverted to playing their home games behind closed doors following renewed safety concerns on the state of Stadio Is Arenas. AC Milan have now voiced their concerns that Cagliari’s shenanigans may have impacted the course of the Serie A championship:
“On February 10, 2013, Milan played before a full stadium, like six other teams. Three teams played in front of only season-ticket holders, three behind closed doors.
“Only one, Juventus, [played] at a neutral ground. In one instance, a 0-3 was awarded (to Roma), and nobody knows what will happen in the next few days…
“In light of decisions that any person of good sense would judge incomprehensible on account of the different rulings in essentially identical cases, it’s clear that the normal course of the Serie A championship has been altered.”
- Things neither look good for São Paulo’s new stadium with delays piling up and people now openly doubting whether the stadium will be ready in time for the 2014 World Cup. This time, the problem is a financing conflict between the construction companies and state-controlled banks:
Yet in the latest of several problems plaguing preparations for the event, and a sign of broader issues with big infrastructure projects in Brazil, the companies building Itaquerão have yet to receive a promised 400 million reais ($200 million) loan from state-controlled banks.
The builders say they will stop construction soon unless the banks drop their demands for additional financing guarantees.
A delay could, in turn, force the government and world soccer body FIFA to push the Cup’s opening match to a different city, find an alternate stadium for games in Sao Paulo – or in a worst-case scenario, leave the city totally out of the Cup.