Plans unveiled for new national football stadium in Serbia

Serbian authorities have presented plans for a new national football stadium in Surčin, a municipality of the city of Belgrade, with optimism that the project can progress after years of inaction.

The Serbian Government’s Ministry of Construction, Traffic and Infrastructure, as well as the Urban Institute of Belgrade, publicly presented the design plans, as well as complete spatial plan documentation, and a strategic environmental assessment of the stadium’s special purpose area.

The documentation outlined the look of the stadium, its location, cost, and usage plans. Currently dubbed ‘Serbia’, the stadium will have an initial 52,000-seat capacity, expandable to 60,000, with a projected price tag of €257m (£216.8m/$299.3m).

It is intended to be one of the most modern football stadia in the local region when delivered, potentially by 2025, and will also house a shopping centre. It will be located around five kilometres from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and will be connected to the centre of the capital by train.

“The future stadium will be located in the part of the city municipality of Surčin, in the part of the Surčin field, east of the state road, near the Belgrade bypass, between the Surčin-south loop and the Ostruznica loop,” said Božidar Bojović from the Urban Institute of Belgrade, according to Serbian media outlet Novosti.

“One of the most modern stadiums, from the so-called Category Four, determined by UEFA, it will be built on a total of 114 hectares of state land, and the facility will have to meet very precise and strict standards of this organisation and FIFA.”

A tender to develop a new national stadium in Serbia was reportedly cancelled in June 2020, due to financial concerns amid COVID-19. Serbian media portal Insajder.net said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which was conducting the design tender, stated the process had been stopped due to the Serbian Government being unable to take on new financial obligations during the global pandemic.

The Government was reportedly due to borrow €250m for the project, which was initially proposed back in 2013. Serbia’s national football team currently plays the majority of its home games at Rajko Mitić Stadium, the venue of SuperLiga club Red Star Belgrade.

Images: Serbian Ministry of Finance