Stands fall quiet, but it’s only until builders begin their work

Perhaps the saddest voluntary cleaning project in history has occurred at Minsk Dynamo Stadium, kicking off its major reconstruction project. Old seats from the western stands have been removed, ready for new, comfortable replacements
By Yegor Yevseev

Georgy Kondratiev, Victor Sokolov, Igor Belov and Alexander Alexeichikov have spent the best moments of their sporting careers on the pitch, so it’s hardly surprising that their eyes were full of sadness as they walked through the stands, as if bidding farewell to an old friend who had shared their sorrows and joys. Igor Belov’s voice seemed to quiver slightly as he told us, “One of our comrades, also a former football player, couldn’t bear to come and help, being afraid that he might cry.” Probably, many fans feel the same, since the historic stadium represents their youth and passion, brimming with wonderful memories.

Of course, time cannot stand still. A modern multi-purpose arena is now needed. The open architectural competition for the design is ongoing but the new national stadium needs a natural grass pitch, with automatic watering and heating, and seating for 40,000 (including at least 500 VIP-box seats and 200 seats for the media), as well as a press centre. Security issues are important, as is easy evacuation in the event of an emergency. Naturally, shops and restaurants, restrooms and medical services all need to be provided, alongside other infrastructure to meet FIFA and UEFA fourth category stadium requirements.
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