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Design & Development

Riga City Council grants land for national football stadium

Featured image credit: Latvian Football Federation

Riga City Council has granted the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) a 10.3-hectare plot of land for the potential development of a new national stadium.

The land is located in Lucavsala, an island on the Daugava River in the Latvian capital. The LFF now has five years to draw up a development plan for a new stadium, at which point the Council will decide whether to officially transfer the site to the federation.

Latvia’s national team currently plays home matches at Riga’s multi-purpose Daugava Stadium, which has a capacity of around 10,000. The team also plays at the 8,000-seat Skonto Stadium in Riga.

In 2022, the LFF approached the municipality with a request to find a plot of land for the needs of a national football stadium. Riga City Council offered nine plots of land in five territories – Jugla, Ziepniekkalns, Spilve, Rumbula and Lucavsala, with the latter recognised as the most suitable site.

A 16,000-seat stadium is envisioned to cost €44m (£37.7m/$46.9m). UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin previously pledged the governing body’s financial support for the construction of a new stadium, with the contribution expected to amount to €12m.

According to Latvian broadcaster LSM, German architecture firm F*Fiebiger has been engaged with the project which aims to deliver a national football stadium complex that can also operate as an venue to attract large-scale cultural events and music concerts to Riga.

Commenting on the City Council’s decision, LFF president, Vadims Ļašenko, said in a statement: “We are pleased with the decision of the Riga City Council, which is also an assessment of the work done by the Latvian Football Federation so far on the implementation of the stadium project.

“At the same time, this decision gives us a legitimate basis to continue working on the further implementation of the project. It is clear that this is only one of initial steps, and there is still a long way to go until our football fans will be able to enjoy world-class football in person in a modern stadium. However, this decision was necessary for the further progress of the project.”

A new stadium is not expected to be delivered until 2027 at the earliest.