New national stadium to be built in Solna

Sweden's new national football stadium is to be built in Solna. The Swedish Football Association unanimously agreed on Saturday to back the construction of the new arena, which will be ready by 2011.

“The football movement has today written a new important chapter in Swedish football history with this decision to create a new national arena,” said the football association’s chairman Lars-Åke Lagrell.

The stadium, which will be built on currently unused ground near Solna Station, will also host concerts and major events.

It will be built, owned and managed by a partnership between the Swedish Football Association, Solna City Council, Fabege, Jernhusen and Peab. The cost of the stadium is expected to be around 1.8 billion kronor, half of which will be funded by the owners.

The current national arena at Rasunda will be sold to help finance the new construction. The whole area around the stadium will be modernised. It will become the home ground of Stockholm team AIK.

“I feel enormous pride that Europe’s most modern arena for football, concerts and other major events will be built in Solna,” said Lars-Erik Salminen, chairman of the city council.

“The new national arena will further strengthen Solna’s brand, both as a successful sports town and as the best environment for growth and private investment.”

The stadium’s capacity will be 50,000 fans for football matches and up to 57,500 for concerts.

In its first year of operation it will host 45 major events and 1.2 million visitors.

A 250 room hotel will also be built, along with restaurants and conference facilities for 2,000 people.

Louis Roper