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Freiburg hit by new stadium blow

German Bundesliga football club SC Freiburg has been dealt a fresh blow in the development of its new stadium after a court ruled that it will not be allowed to host league games in evenings or at Sunday lunchtime.

Freiburg is currently planning to move into the SC-Stadion for the second half of the 2020-21 season, but the development of the 35,000-capacity venue has been hindered by multiple legal issues.

After a complaint from local residents, the Baden-Württemberg Administrative Court (VGH) yesterday (Tuesday) ruled that Bundesliga games will not be permitted from 8pm, or on Sundays between 1pm and 3pm. The only exception to this will be for domestic or European cup competitions.

Bundesliga games were “probably wrongly classified as rare events within the meaning of the sports facility noise protection ordinance,” said the VGH, according to the Kicker website, adding that the decision would be incontestable in accordance with the statutes. 

However, the club and the city are confident that the ruling will be overturned. The regional council of Freiburg (RP) said: “We are still confident that our arguments in the main proceedings at the Freiburg Administrative Court will be convincing and that the legal issue will be clarified in our favour by the highest court if necessary.”

SC Freiburg’s chief financial officer, Oliver Leki, added: “(This is) an incomprehensible decision that was not to be expected. I am confident that our legal opinion will be confirmed in the further proceedings.”

Tuesday’s ruling comes after it was initially revealed in October 2019 that Freiburg’s under-construction stadium would not be able to stage night fixtures or Sunday-afternoon matches between 1pm and 3pm amid concerns over noise.

The VGH ruled that the club would not be able to play at these times, which have been deemed “rest periods”.  The ruling came after local residents complained that the new stadium, which is being developed at a reported cost of €76m (£69.5m/$90.2m), would cause significant noise pollution on match days. Following appeals, the VGH was forced to reopen this case.

SC-Stadion (pictured earlier this month) will replace the 24,000-seat Schwarzwald-Stadion as Freiburg’s home ground.

Image: SC Freiburg