Austria’s LASK details plans for climate-neutral stadium

Austrian Bundesliga football club LASK has unveiled plans for a new 20,034-seat stadium, which will be completed by the summer of 2022.

Financial services company Raiffeisen Bank will hold naming rights to the stadium, which will be known as the Raiffeisen Arena. The company already sponsors LASK’s existing home, which is also known as the Raiffeisen Arena and has a capacity of 6,087.

Due to the size of the existing Raiffeisen Arena, LASK is forced to play European matches at Linzer Stadion, which seats around 21,000 fans. The new Raiffeisen Arena is set to be built on the site of Linzer Stadion and work is expected to begin on the project at the start of 2021.

The new stadium will be built to meet the requirements of the Austrian Football Federation (ÖFB), enabling it to host national team matches and the Austrian Cup final. It will also meet UEFA’s Category 4 requirements, meaning that LASK can play any future Champions League and Europa League matches at the venue, albeit at a slightly reduced capacity of 18,011.

LASK, which is based in the city of Linz, has pledged that the stadium will be climate-neutral and plastic-free, with a future-proof energy concept having been developed in partnership with Energie AG. Electricity will be generated through photovoltaic systems on the roof areas of the stadium. Another LASK partner, BWT, will ensure that only recyclable drinking bottles and cups are dispensed at the stadium.

“As a forward-looking association, we naturally cannot avoid environmental protection and sustainability,” said LASK president Siegmund Gruber. “We are happy to make our contribution here and thank our partners, without whom such a project would not be possible.”

Other elements of the stadium will include an on-site health centre, expanded training areas, meeting and office space, a business club, a sports fan and shop, a LASK chapel, a restaurant and a children’s space spanning 1,000 square metres, which, according to LASK, will be the largest arena of its kind in Europe. Gruber added: “A visit to the Raiffeisen Arena should be an experience for the whole family.”

Heinrich Schaller, general director at RaiffeisenLandesbank Oberoest, added: “It is important to us that Upper Austria gets a beautiful, modern and future-oriented stadium that does justice to Linz’s status as a sports city.

“Above all, it also creates strong regional investment stimuli for our business location and creates added value and jobs. We are convinced that with our wide range of services we can make this project a sustainable success for the region and everyone involved.”

LASK has reached the knockout stages of this season’s Europa League but is currently 5-0 down after the first leg of its round-of-16 clash with Manchester United.

Images: LASK