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Stadium Delay in Karlsruhe

If it's not the COVID pandemic causing delays in stadium construction, it's good old fashioned human error; and someone has some explaining to do after steelwork being used in the redevelopment of the Wildparkstadion in Karlsruhe was found to not meet building standards.

Works had been progressing on schedule, despite the pandemic, and the 9,400 seater east stand was taking shape with seats installed, railings fitted, metal cladding being added to the exterior etc. Catering and merchandising kiosks were being fitted out and even the all-important toilets were being plumbed in. However, the girders designed to bear the weight of the roof didn't meet building regulations and, just to compound the error, it wasn't until they were already in situ that the mistake was discovered. All work on the site had to be halted last month and the operation to replace them has taken weeks to complete. It's not known at this stage what impact this will have on the overall delivery schedule, but what is certain is that the completion deadline for the east stand (due mid-September) will definitely be missed. However, as with any stadium development in progress at the moment, the COVID pandemic means that delays are less problematic than they normally would have been, given that fans are unlikely to return to stadiums in high numbers for the foreseeable future. So, for now, the project continues and until the end of this season, during which Karlsruhe will continue to play their home matches at the stadium, the Wildparkstadion will offer a temporary north stand and the east stand (providing the contractors actually manage to do the job and have it approved this time !). Then, by mid-2021, the south stand is expected to be ready and all of the 34,000 capacity stadium should be delivered in 2022. Overall costs for the project were originally expected to be in the region of €123 million but those involved are bracing themselves for an additional bill of around €20 million since spiralling costs started to cause concern back in May. This latest setback will do nothing to ease those concerns.

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