If You Build It They Will Come (redux)

It has been nearly three years since this post and over two years since construction of the new Stožice football stadium and sports hall began. Yesterday we saw the first results

The (unofficially named) Arena Stožice is a thing of beauty. While 12,500 seats may not be all that much compared to other, more renowned halls out there, it can be safely said that there is not a bad seat in the house. Acoustics are awesome and the whole thing does indeed look beautiful. Both from the inside as well as outside.

Not everything went according to plan. The final permit for issued only this morning and Bob knows what would happen if the stadium and the Arena wouldn’t have been ship-shape. But truth be told, no one really doubted that the permit would be issued. After all, certain parts of the current government and civil service are bending over backwards to accommodate him. But then again, there wasn’t a project like this in Ljubljana since 1982 and it is probably right and proper that the civil service is slightly more expedient than usual.

But the final permit turned out to be the least of Janković’s worries. Just as the final deadline was looming, one of the subcontractors flipped because he was owed a serious amount of money by Grep (the principal contractor) and as a result threatened to block the entire complex by parking trucks and heavy machinery around it. The whole thing even went so far that the ministry of transport closed the northern Ljubljana ring road for heavy trucks citing safety concerns, but in reality preventing the truckers’ protest. But since there were some eighteen trucks already parked in front of the Arena, the whole thing could have turned into a real mess.

Luckily it didn’t. The principal contractor and another subcontractor found a solution to satisfy the unhappy subcontractor, the machinery was removed and four hours later Slovenia played Spain in a basketball friendly and lost 72 to 79.

Today Slovenia plays Australia in a football friendly. Photos will be forthcoming tomorrow 🙂

P.S.: Yes, this undoubtedly was a part of Janković’s re-election campaign. But we’ll deal with that in due course.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

11 thoughts on “If You Build It They Will Come (redux)”

  1. Delaying of Stozice was probably the last chance for opposition to close the gap to the mayor Jankovic. I do not want to forecast election results but at this moment it looks bad for the opposition.

  2. @rx170: You’re may be onto something here. Although I’m sure the opposition will not simply give up.

    @fetalij: Didn’t even mention the roaring ovation Janković got 😀 I’m saving both for later 😉

  3. Actually it’s the opposite, I am happy I am not there and don’t have to pay for this folly.

  4. Just for the record: so far, not a single taxpayers’ euro was spent on the whole project.

    9,4 million from the budget will be forthcoming, of that 8 mil from EU cohesion funds. It is also very likely that some 15-20 mil of either municipality or state (probably the former) budget money will have to be forked out for the difference between the original project and later additions. So, 30 million at the most. That’s less than a third of what the public part of the total value of the public part of the project.

    Just sayin’.

  5. Don’t bullshit me, son. The whole project is financed by Slovenian state banks that are screaming for bailout. Mark my words, taxpayers will pay for this one.

  6. I ain’t bullshitting you. The banks established a credit line worth about 115 million euro and demanded plenty of guarantees for it. And if you put together everything that I suspect will go from various coffers, you’re still a good 150 million short in saying that the “whole” project is financed by public money.

    But be that as it may, I do understand your concerns and share them to an extent. A lot is riding on how successful the shopping centre will be.

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