Freiburg hit by stadium delays, opening date unclear

German Bundesliga football club SC Freiburg is hoping to move into its new stadium in time for the 2021-22 season but has admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed back the delivery date.

Freiburg currently plays at the 24,000-seat Schwarzwald-Stadion but is set to move to the new SC-Stadion, which will have a capacity of 34,000. Freiburg had originally hoped to move to its new ground during the 2020-21 season but this has not been possible.

The club played its final home match of the season against Bayern Munich on Saturday. It remains uncertain whether the match, which ended 2-2, will be Freiburg’s last ever at the Schwarzwald-Stadion amid delays involving the construction of SC-Stadion.

Freiburg released a statement ahead of Saturday’s match confirming that the pandemic has affected the progress of the stadium construction. Further problems relating to the technical interior design have meant that the targeted completion date will not be met.

Freiburg said the club and the city are doing “everything in their power” to ensure the new stadium is completed as quickly as possible. The club is still planning to play at SC-Stadion from the start of the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign but has admitted that the opening matches of next season could be played at the Schwarzwald-Stadion if progress continues to be delayed.

The club added that work still needs to be done on the construction site and stressed that “every day will count”. Should Freiburg be forced to play more matches at Schwarzwald-Stadion next season, the club said it would likely allocate tickets on a lottery basis, depending on the COVID-19 situation at the time.

Freiburg was dealt a blow back in September after a court ruled that it would not be allowed to host league games at its new stadium in evenings or at Sunday lunchtime. Exceptions will be made for domestic or European cup competitions.

After a complaint from local residents, the Baden-Württemberg Administrative Court (VGH) ruled that Bundesliga games will not be permitted from 8pm, or on Sundays between 1pm and 3pm. Freiburg said at the time that it was confident the ruling would be overturned.

Image: SC Freiburg