New life for our sporting arena

Final reconstruction project approved for Dinamo Stadium, including track-and-field complex to launch by 2017 with VIP-zone, conference hall and health and fitness centre
By Yuri Chernyakevich

Dinamo Stadium is soon to be ‘jammed to the rafters’ with builders and specialised machinery. In early February, the Architecture and Urban Planning Council, under the Chief Architect of Minsk, approved a draft proposal to reconstruct Belarus’ largest sports arena, with works commencing in spring and to be completed by early 2017.

Dinamo Stadium will become the country’s major track-and-field facility, able to host world championships in athletics and, even, an Olympic Games. “One of the major conditions for reconstruction was that we preserve the stadium’s appearance from Ulyanovskaya Street and its central arch on Kirov Street,” notes the Chief Architect of the project, Alexander Yeliseev. “These classical elements are to be expanded with contemporary architectural solutions, so the appearance of the stadium from the eastern side will remain classical, while the western side will significantly change.”

The plans meet the highest standards set by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Interestingly, the improvements will result in less seating: 20,000 against 40,000 previously. “Track-and-field stadiums don’t often have more than 16,000 spectators,” explains Mr. Yeliseev.

A VIP-zone for 600 is to open in the western stand, as will locker rooms for athletes, judges and coaching staff. There will be a conference hall, plus a press centre and commentary booths, as well as working places for the media.

The developers have promised other innovations, such as a health and fitness centre in the under-stand area, alongside shops selling sports goods. There is to be a family and entertainment centre, offices, cafes and restaurants. In addition, a universal hall for sport games is planned for the eastern stand, alongside a gym. Clearly, the plans foresee the venue gaining maximum use on a daily basis rather than being reserved only for major events. A 400m running track, with nine lanes, is being marked out, alongside nine lanes for 100m sprint and 110m hurdles.

Footballers will also be able to enjoy the renovated stadium, since a natural lawn is being laid. Mr. Yeliseev tells us, “A fully-fledged training field will be equipped close to the major arena: one of the requirements of the International Association of Athletics Federations.”

The architects have taken into account every aspect to make the venue comfortable and inviting - for athletes and spectators. Mr. Yeliseev notes that construction works are to begin in May. No doubt, sports fans and exercise enthusiasts will await its opening with anticipation.
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