Brno signed a contract for multifunctional hall at the exhibition centre for CZK 4.4 billion
Representatives of the city of Brno yesterday signed a contract with representatives of Hochtief CZ for the construction of a multifunctional hall at the exhibition centre for CZK 4.4 billion. The construction will start only if the European Commission approves the possibility of financial support for the construction from public sources. The city expects a decision in the first half of this year. In case of non-approval, the city can withdraw from the contract without penalty. The state, the region and the city will contribute to the construction of the arena with a capacity of more than 13,000 spectators, which has generally pre-negotiated two loans of up to CZK 4.5 billion for the investment. The construction of the hall has been criticised in the past by some opposition politicians.
If it starts, the company has a 30-month deadline for the work from the handover of the site. "It is not definitively clear that construction will start immediately after the contract is signed, but we are making it clear that we want to implement the project. I believe that construction will start this year," said Brno Mayor Markéta Vaňková (ODS).
The city will wait for the European Commission's decision on whether to approve public financial support for the construction of the hall. The state-run National Sports Agency has promised a subsidy, supporting projects to a maximum of CZK 300 million. The region has also pledged its support and the city of Brno will also incur the costs; in addition to its own resources, the city council has approved that it can take out loans of up to CZK 4.5 billion from two banks for investment. If everything goes smoothly, Vaňková expects that construction could start in the summer. If the European Commission does not approve the aid, the city can unilaterally terminate the contract without penalty.
Arena Brno, a municipal company, will be the operator of the hall. The city has not been approached by any bidder in the concession procedure to operate the hall. Vaňková said that the city will try to find a new operator over time. "We want to build a multifunctional supra-regional complex that will offer top conditions for organizing cultural, sporting, trade fair and congress events on an international level," Vaňková said.
According to city councillor and chairman of the board of Arena Brno Petr Kratochvíl (ODS), the construction will also trigger other investments. "There will be reclamation of a large area near the centre and therefore massive development of this part of the city," Kratochvíl said. The Czech Roads and Motorways Directorate is planning work on a large urban ring road in the Bauerova section near the exhibition centre. "These are modifications to a one-kilometre stretch that will improve safety and enable traffic connections to the hall. The transport company is also continuing to prepare the construction of a tram loop in the nearby transport node Lipová," Kratochvíl recalled.
The construction of the hall has been criticized in the past, for example by the opposition Greens and Žít Brno. According to their representatives, this year's budget is subordinated to the construction of the hall and will jeopardise the financing of other needs of the city. According to Jana Drápalová (Greens), there is no money left, for example, for the construction of the athletics hall, the conversion of the penitentiary in Cejl Street into a Creative Centre, the education sector is underfunded and the city has resigned itself to energy savings.
The hall is to have two underground and six above-ground floors. The built-up area will be nearly 16,700 square metres. The built-up area will be 475,000 square feet. The capacity of the hall will be up to 13,300 seats. Together with the hall, 1,300 parking spaces will be created.