How the new UEFA standard stadium at Europa Point will look. :: GFA
Plans for Gibraltar’s new UEFA stadium were unveiled to the public for the first time last week.
Boasting a capacity of 8,066, the Europa Point Stadium is expected to take 18 months to build if planning permission is given the green light.
Unfortunately the venue won’t be ready for the the Euro 2016 qualifiers when Gibraltar take on Germany, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Georgia.
Instead the team will have to travel to Faro in Portugal for their first official European competition.
As part of the ambitious plans for the stadium, two vertical beams of light will be shone on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar.
However, the design and location have been give the red card by some people living in Gibraltar.
Wilfred Lavagna, 56, a Brit who works at 888, told SUR in English: “I suppose we need one but I’m not keen on the location. But then again, where should they build it? The area is very windy and I think it could ruin the overall look of the area. Not to mention the logistics of getting there.”
Scot Ali Syme, who lives on the Rock agreed, saying: “I love that area and can’t really imagine a stadium there. Sport is really about community and we have such a good attitude towards sport in Gibraltar, I just don’t see the point of a new stadium that will be inaccessible to most people and a massive eyesore.”
Brit David Santos, 33, an IT worker who lives in La Línea, added: “It’s great that they are getting one but it looks badly designed. It’s too big and a bit of an eyesore. They should build it into the Rock or do something special like they did at Braga in Portugal.”
Meanwhile David Leslie, 30, a web trading and analysis manager who lives in Gibraltar, said he liked the design.
“It’s sad that it’s the end of the current stadium as it’s the first thing you see when you come into Gibraltar, apart from the Rock obviously,” said the Brit. “But the new stadium is in a great location and I’m in favour of it as we need a new one.”
The stadium is set to be built on a 23,000m2 barren piece of land that used to be a cricket pitch.
The 105m x 68m football pitch will be built in a north south direction to avoid the morning and afternoon sun. The structure will have full medical and media facilities, spaces for catering and retail outlets and the GFA offices.
The stadium will also be used for major events and bringing big music names to the British overseas territory.
Yvette Zarb, Chief Cultural Officer, said: “I’m actually very excited about the idea of this new stadium because we often have people approaching us who want to bring international acts to Gibraltar. But really, with what we have now and the seating capacity, it’s really not financially viable to bring big names to Gibraltar. We really need a big venue.”