Austrian Bundesliga football club LASK celebrated its first match at the new Raiffeisen Arena with a dramatic victory over Austria Lustenau on Friday.
The match was heading towards a goalless draw until Marin Ljubicic netted a 94th minute penalty to hand the three points to the home team, delighting the majority of the 12,000 fans in attendance.
On October 11, 2021, LASK celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the Raiffeisen Arena. A soft opening of the 19,080-capacity venue was held on February 19 as the club’s women’s team played a friendly that drew a crowd of 3,500 – a record attendance for a women’s club game in Austria.
LASK announced the appointment of construction group PORR to develop its new stadium in October 2021. The appointment of Vienna-based PORR seemingly brought an end to a difficult gestation process for the Raiffeisen Arena venture.
The State of Upper Austria officially gave the green light to LASK’s plans for a new stadium by announcing it would grant the project a €30m (£26.4m/$31.8m) financing package in November 2020.
LASK unveiled plans for the new stadium, which had aimed to be completed by the summer of 2022, back in July 2020. Financial services company Raiffeisen Bank secured naming rights to the stadium, with the firm already sponsoring 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 was forced to play European matches at Linzer Stadion, which seats around 21,000 fans. The new Raiffeisen Arena has been built on the site of Linzer Stadion.