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Frankfurt plans major project: decision on multifunctional hall in autumn

17.06.2024 | 07:48 Clock | Business
Frankfurt plans major project: decision on multifunctional hall in autumn

"The in-depth studies commissioned by the 2020 City Council for the construction of a multifunctional hall at the stadium are now available. After more than 20 years of discussion about the construction of a multifunctional hall in Frankfurt, we will be able to make a decision in principle in the fall. The expert reports show that a multifunctional hall at the stadium is possible and makes sense", explained Lord Mayor Mike Josef after the studies were presented to the supervisory board of Sportparkstadion Stadion Frankfurt Gesellschaft für Projektentwicklungen mbH, the city council, the parliamentary group leaders, the sports policy spokespersons and the local councillors concerned.

"There are several reasons why we finally need a multifunctional hall in the Rhine-Main region. Of the seven most important German cities, Frankfurt is the only one that does not have such a venue. This is an infrastructural disadvantage in the competition between major cities. Many major events that would be important for our attractiveness pass by the Rhine-Main region," said Josef.

"We are more than just a soccer city, which is why we need to improve the conditions for other professional sports such as basketball and ice hockey. The conditions for professional indoor sports are difficult, be it ice hockey or basketball. Both halls - for the Lions and for the Skyliners - are getting on in years. They are no longer up to date. They need to be renovated or even rebuilt. They are not marketable in their current state. Without the right conditions, it will become increasingly difficult for both teams to stay in the league. This means: "In any case, we will need solutions for the outdated sports infrastructure in the professional sector," emphasized the Lord Mayor.

"There is no room for large concerts, exhibitions or international sporting events such as European or World Championships in Frankfurt. Concerts with up to 15,000 visitors in particular are a special attraction for the Rhine-Main region and are essential for refinancing a multifunctional hall. As early as 2006, planning permission was granted for the construction of a multifunctional arena on the site as part of the stadium redevelopment at the time. For all these reasons, there is a lot to be said for a new multifunctional arena," explained the head of the city.

According to Josef, the expert reports have shown that a multifunctional arena is feasible on the planned P9 site. In normal operation, the traffic infrastructure would be sufficient. If the stadium and the arena were to be used to capacity at the same time, the traffic infrastructure would have to be upgraded. In any case, this is already necessary for the stadium. Construction costs are currently expected to be around 250 million euros. Over 30 years, the gross value added on construction and operation would be 14.7 times the investment in relation to the region. A municipal realization of the construction and leasing to a service concessionaire, which is to be determined as part of a tender, is currently considered sensible.

"I am pleased that we now have a very clear picture for the construction of a multifunctional hall at the stadium. Next, we will present a report with the results of the expert opinions and a decision in principle to the municipal council and the city councillors in the fall. The facts are on the table. We can then make a decision," said Lord Mayor Josef.

Friedbert Greif, Managing Director of the planning office AS+P Albert Speer + Partner, said: "Thanks to the possible synergies with the existing stadium infrastructure, including the already planned and existing connection and parking space capacities, the use of sealed areas and the already existing planning law, the multifunctional arena at the P9 site fulfills the best prerequisites for an indoor arena and location concept that can be implemented quickly and is innovative and sustainable to boot, with a special urban appeal."

Michael Welsch from SSP Consult, Beratende Ingenieure GmbH, clarifies the traffic situation: "In the mobility concept, we have identified numerous measures and solution approaches that not only support the challenging mobility requirements for parallel combined operation of large events in the arena and stadium, but also enable significant improvements for traffic management before and after events during regular operation of soccer matches and concerts in the stadium."

Stefan Ludwig from Deloitte explains the return on investment: "The estimated return on investment has a positive macroeconomic impact, especially when gross value added and employment are taken into account. The impact on the Festhalle is moderate."

Gunnar Wöbke, Managing Partner of Fraport Skyliners, welcomes the audit results: "From 2032, new standards for the German Basketball League will apply. After that, our current location, the Süwag Energie Arena, will no longer meet the standards. We will therefore not be able to organize Bundesliga matches in the current arena in the long term. We are therefore in favor of building a multifunctional hall. With the new hall, we can once again play professional sport economically and would also have the chance to win national and international titles again. Without a new hall, we have no prospects for the future. The functional planning for a multifunctional arena at P9 was coordinated with the Skyliners in a very constructive process."

Stefan Krämer, Managing Partner of Löwen Frankfurt Eishockey-Betriebs GmbH, explains: "Löwen Frankfurt urgently needs a modern home arena to meet the financial challenges of first-class football. We have been emphasizing this for many years. In addition to a multifunctional arena as a pure competition venue, we naturally also need a training center for our professionals and our superbly developing young talent. In order to meet this enormous increase in demand for ice surfaces and training rooms, the Frankfurt ice rink also needs to be upgraded. As part of the technical functional planning of the P9 arena project, our requirements were recorded by ASP. We would like to thank Lord Mayor Mike Josef for his commitment and are now looking forward to the results of the planning to date."

Marcus Gwechenberger, Head of Planning and Housing, emphasizes: "The functional planning now available and the solutions from the mobility concept once again confirm that we are on the right track with the multifunctional arena at this location. The urban development idea of a combination of stadium and arena, which was already set out in the development plan, continues to impress, and not just because of the synergies and shared infrastructure. In the best sense, it ties in with the sports and leisure landscape created in the New Frankfurt and embedded in the city forest and continues the concept into the future. I am delighted if we can move the project forward quickly on this basis."

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