Bohemians 1905 will stay in Vršovice

A deal to keep Ďolíček stadium open has been reached

The Ďolíček stadium, used by football club Bohemians 1905, will remain in Prague's Vršovice district. There had been the possibility that the team would move and the land under the stadium would be developed.

The Prague 10 district and Prague City Hall have reached an agreement over the stadium, parking lot and greenspace. Prague City Hall agreed last week to let the district acquire some city land that was in question.

The stadium owners had a lease on the land where the stadium stands until the end of the year, but negotiations on renewing it had hot roadblocks.

The new agreement fulfills the conditions to rescue the sports facility. There is nothing now to prevent the city from buying the stadium from its owner. The district will be able to retain the parking spaces that had been in dispute.

Prague 10 Deputy Mayor Tomáš Pek (TOP 09) told the media that the period of uncertainty for the district and for football fans has ended, and that the nothing stands in the way of further negotiations between the city and the stadium owners, and the Prague 10 district can no longer interfere.

The district, however, will be able to control the land used for a parking lot and a working group will sort out the technical details of transferring the land.

Bohemians 1905 had been facing the threat of eviction until Dec. 1, when the new agreement was reached. 

The Prague 10 district under pressure from the public had committed in the spring to buy the stadium from its private owners. The district had been negotiating with the city over the purchase of the land under the stadium for several years to facilitate the purchase, but had not been able to come to an agreement with the city.

A solution for the problem had been put forward in June, but City Hall disagreed with it, saying it had not been properly consulted. Prague City Councilor Karel Grabein Procházka (ANO), who attended the Prague 10 Council meeting in June, said at the time that the problem was with 1 percent of the text, but didn't specify what it was. Procházka is responsible for Prague's assets.

The meeting last week was reportedly tense. Prague 10 councilor Pavel Mareš (Vlasta coalition) said that it was good that the fate of the Ďolíček stadium and surrounding land will be resolved with a unified position, but the atmosphere of dealing with the city was difficult. This may continue in the future as well if the district wants to develop other projects.

He also added that the issue was being used for pre-election publicity so some politicians could gain political capital in the next municipal elections. There were also accusations between the city and the district over their respective stances and attitudes.

There has been uncertainty since 2011 over the stadium. The football club has a lease for until the end of the competition season. Lukáš Eichinger of Bohemians Real previously said that if politicians did not find a solution, the space would be used for something other than football after the lease expired.

Prague 10 had also tried to purchase the stadium two years ago, but the contract was not approved by City Hall.

The stadium opened March 27, 1932. The 2003 renovation changed the capacity to 13,388, with 3,028 seated. After a summer 2007 renovation the capacity was reduced to 9,000 with 3,800 seated. This was later changed to 7,500 with just seats.

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