Resistance to the mammoth dfb academy project

Resistance to the mammoth dfb academy project

The german federation of soccer clubs is pushing ahead with the planning of its academy in frankfurt/main with vehemence and relatively unimpressed by resistance.

For the world’s largest sports federation and the umbrella organization of the fubball world champions, it is a "century project. President wolfgang niersbach said with pride and anticipation. The coming year will also be marked by the DFB’s planned 89-million-euro performance center. On 31. December 2016 the land of the former racecourse in niederrad is to be handed over.

DFB secretary general helmut sandrock sees brazil’s world cup triumph "as an incentive to invest even more in structure and organization, as well as in personnel and know-how: the more we can keep other nations at bay in this way and remain successful, the better."213 architects from all over the world have already submitted bids, and the four winners are to be announced in may.

But a citizens’ initiative still wants to overturn the decision to close the racecourse in favor of the training center. According to their own information, they have collected 18,500 signatures for this purpose. According to information from the city, around 13,600 valid signatures are needed to set a referendum in motion. Then 113,000 frankfurt citizens had to vote in a ballot to repeal the parliamentary decision. The existing 99-year leasehold contract for the 15-hectare land amounts to seven million euros and had to be completely renegotiated in this case. The final review of the votes should be completed in january at the earliest.

"Despite rough sympathies for equestrian sports, it is our goal to become the internationally perceived capital of fubball and sports federations," mayor peter feldmann (SPD) said to the "frankfurter allgemeine zeitung". For him, the DFB is "a global corporation" – and it’s imperative to keep it on the main line.

"The excavators will roll in 2016, we should move completely at the end of 2018," sandrock has already announced. The DFB bosses leave the disputes with the racetrack sympathizers to the municipality: "everything has been arranged in consultation with the city, we have no doubts about the seriousness of the deal. We didn’t do anything illegal, we didn’t push," niersbach explained; the land was eventually offered to the DFB.

His vice president, rainer koch, also expects a huge boost for the 6.8 million-member federation with its 26,000 clubs – a kind of university "of the utmost importance, of the utmost importance."National team manager oliver bierhoff has vehemently pushed the project – following the example of the english and french performance center – and confidently declared: "the main idea is: we want to be the competence in soccer, in german soccer, and if possible also in international soccer."

In 2015, the entire turf season will run at the racecourse in any case. But then the A-national team and other selection teams will have their meeting point here, also the top referees. In addition to training grounds, plans include a hotel, hall, medical and sports science facilities and a press center. DFB administration will also move. The previous headquarters in otto-fleck-schneise could become the center of another rough project: the association is bidding for the european championship in 2014. "What we have in mind is that the OC could move in here," said niersbach.

Facts about the planned DFB academy in frankfurt:

The new DFB training center on the site of the current racecourse in frankfurt-niederrad is scheduled for completion at the end of 2018. Start of construction planned for early 2017.

The most important cornerstones according to the DFB:

– costs: 89 million euros – including relocation of the association’s administration (currently otto-fleck-schneise). Grants secured from UEFA and FIFA: 7.6 million euros.

– contract with the city (ground lease): 6.835 million euros. Duration: 99 years. The the land: turn of the year 2015/2016

– areas: about 6000 square meters of DFB academy (including training rooms and training pitches), 3770 square meters of general areas (including fan area, conference rooms, press center), 4330 square meters of DFB administration and 3700 square meters of service area (including depot)

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