Good and bad news for those still wishing to visit the Friedrich-Ludwig Jahn Sportpark in Berlin.
Demolition of the historic (albeit decaying) stadium has been put back again - this time until 2022 - by the Berlin authorities who plan to spend a whopping €200 million converting it into an 'inclusion sports park'. The latest delay has come following a legal challenge by lawyers who state that the development plans were not "legally compliant and highly vulnerable to legal action" and have ordered new plans to be drawn up that take into consideration the environmental impact of the development on the surrounding area including the proposed felling of trees. As part of the planning process, an architectural competition to design the new stadium complex is also due to take place and expected to be completed by mid-2022. Until then, the current stadium should definitely remain standing with German Green MP Andreas Otto stating "Any dismantling measures will take place at the earliest after the competition has been completed". Now for the bad news. While the constructors, planners and designers discuss what's next for the Jahn Stadion, its operating licence expires at the end of next month and will definitely not be renewed. The Berlin authorities have confirmed that "There will be no more events, competitions or games there from 1 January 2021. The only exception is for school sports and training, they are still allowed to use the grass pitch in the stadium." Regionalliga clubs VSG Altglienicke and BFC Dynamo who have have played their home games in Prenzlauer Berg this season, are both therefore on the move - with VSG sharing the Amateurstadion in the Olympic Park with Hertha Berlin II; and Dynamo heading to the Sportforum Hohenschönhausen which will see €3 million from the overall Friedrich-Ludwig Jahn Stadion redevelopment budget spent on it to bring it up to spec. Whether or not things remain on schedule however is anyone's guess. This is Berlin after all.