The main contractors behind the development of the new Puskás Aréna have received a further HUF7.8bn (£21.3m/€24m/$26.8m) to complete work on the Budapest stadium.
The Napi.hu website said Magyar Építő and ZÁÉV have received the funds for wider infrastructure tasks in the stadium’s surrounding environment, with the project now said to be more than 80% complete as it heads towards a November opening date.
Built on the site of Ferenc Puskás Stadium, which was demolished in 2017 to make way for the new development, Puskás Aréna (pictured earlier this month) aims to be one of the most advanced stadia in Europe. As well as serving as the new home of the Hungarian national football team, the 67,000-seat stadium will be a host venue as the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament takes to multiple stadia across the continent next year.
At the European Championships, which will be held in 12 cities across the continent, Puskás Aréna has been pencilled in to stage two group-stage matches and one round of 16 tie. Napi.hu said that while a contingency fund of HUF7.1bn has not yet been used, the new funding will go towards local transport infrastructure, landscape architecture, the development of sports pitches outside the stadium and buildings for the likes of ticket offices and restaurants.
The cost of demolishing the old stadium and designing and developing the Puskás Aréna is reported to have passed the HUF160bn mark, but the stadium is said to be ahead of schedule. The new stadium had been targeted for an opening date of November 25, which is ‘Hungarian Football Day’. On November 25, 1953, a Hungarian team that included the legendary Ferenc Puskás beat England 6-3 at Wembley.
The new stadium will position fans closer to the pitch than the previous Ferenc Puskás Stadium. It is also hoped the stadium will host other events such as music concerts and festivals as it seeks to become a multi-purpose venue. The opening match will now reportedly be played on November 15.
Image: Magyar Építő