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Online Q&A with the Batumi Stadium stakeholders

In the following Q&A, we hear insights from a number of the stakeholders involved in the new Batumi Stadium project in Georgia:

Giorgi Ermakovi (GE), Chairman of Batumi Municipality

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What benefits will the stadium bring to the local community of Batumi?

GE: First of all, I want to start by saying that the area was originally allocated to Leonidze Street, but then we decided to give the territory of the car manufacturing factory to the Government of Adjara. Actually this is the city centre, the Rugby stadium will be built next to it, on Leonidze Street, and the complex will be packed.

To talk about the stadium, in addition to sporting purposes, it will have another designation, in the form of the commercial properties that will be placed within it, which are required for the infrastructure.

The new stadium will allow us to carry out many types of events, including large-scale concerts. Everything has been considered, from VIP halls, restrooms, cafes, the shopping centres and a separate entrance for journalists.

I think that’s a very good project, even though there were a lot of offers, we liked this project.

 

David Baladze (DB), Minister of Economic

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What were the main criteria for the stadium’s design and philosophy, and how did it reflect in this project?

DB: Adjara has a great football history, on this basis we decided to keep the stadium in the city. This was one of the main requirements of the project and the company [BKA] did it, and suggested a project that will been one of the great objects for Batumi. Therefore, we should thank the company for the fact that they were able to do it and offered us a very interesting project, which provides for the visual part of the Georgian elements.

What makes this project unique?

DB: The main issue is to meet UEFA standards. In addition, it should be an excellent facility for the city, to meet all the standards and requirements, which will be important for the stadium.

To talk about the research we carried out, we searched for all the companies which are engaged in making such projects and found that BKA has worked on 22 football stadium projects, which is very important. We believe that the company will proceed with the commitments made in the contract and respectively with today’s situation, everything is going successfully. This project is unique in the fact that there are visual parts of the Georgian folk elements [within the design], and I want to thank them for that.

What benefits will the stadium bring to the local community of Batumi?

DB: To talk about the benefits this stadium will bring to the local community, we can say that it will be in accordance with international standards and it will host guests in world-class surrounds. Also, as you know, the stadium will be covered and the stands will be roofed, which will allow us to host some concerts and events, which is not possible today. In our region, the weather conditions are unpredictable and it is an interrupting factor. This stadium gives us a possibility to make independent decisions with its infrastructure.

How will the stadium engage with the fans or give them the maximum experience at an event?

DB: As you are aware, we made a decision that the Olympic Stadium should be replaced by a stadium with football at its core, which is very important for the fans, who were asking for it. Accordingly, the capacity of the stadium is approximately 20,000. With the information provided by BKA, the lightweight construction of the stadium gives us the possibility to increase this number to 25,000. In addition, we are planning and searching for the infrastructure which is suitable for the football clubs. Depending on this, we will have created a venue that provides high levels of satisfaction, pleasure and interest to football fans.

 

Otar Fedichkini (OF), FC Dinamo Batumi President

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What requirements did the whole project have? Legal, constructive, physical, technical etc.?

OF: The Commission of the government was established and licensed in the agreement. The stadium’s capacity was calculated at 20,000 spectators to meet UEFA and FIFA standards.

What is your idea of ‘inheriting’ the traditional culture?

OF: I am a traditional person and I will defend my traditions.

What makes this project unique?

OF: This project is very important for the world of football, for Batumi and residents of Batumi, because years ago the stadium was destroyed, therefore the football teams were collapsed and it virtually disappeared.

What benefits will the stadium bring to the local community of Batumi?

OF: It will be very important. All my childhood I spent in the stadium, in fact I grew up there, the only reason I was going home, was sleeping. The stadium was on the boulevard and every passer-by was coming to the stadium to watch Dinamo Batumis’ training. After that, we had not such a luxury. When the stadium is built, many teams will gather, the young and national teams will have matches here. Dinamo Batumi has many fans.

Are you hoping that a stadium of this quality will mean that Batumi can bid in the future to host international sporting events?

OF: I want to repeat that the National Teams will be playing in this stadium. Everybody will want to host matches here.

 

Batumi Stadium: Fact File

This representative football stadium in Georgia’s most famous holiday destination will be built alongside a newly created avenue in the western part of the city, just a short walk away from the beach.

One of the main design challenges was to fit a 20,000-capacity stadium into the existing site without rotating it from the north-south axis (preferred for sunlight access).

Altogether, the stadium will sit on a plot of 87,000sqm, with space for approximately 1,000 vehicles. Its form was created by Bahadir Kul Architects (BKA), the renowned Turkish architectural firm responsible for numerous stadium in the region, including the 40,000-seat stadium in Konya.

The concept is inspired by Georgia’s passion for dance. It utilises the motion of ‘whirling’, in common with the dances of the Caucasus. The building’s outer skin captures motion in a well-delivered way, producing a dynamic impression.

Neutral by day, the cladding will be dynamically illuminated at night to represent colours of Georgia, Adjara region or local football team Dinamo (of course other combinations will also be possible).

The double-tiered stands have a traditional layout and split the audience almost perfectly between the lower and upper decks, 10,040 and 9,995 seats respectively.

The detailed design is now complete, with the stadium to be ready by the end of 2018.