Work On Athletics Hall at Kampus Bohunice Paused For Two Months Due To Lack of Funds

The 2,000-capacity Athletics Hall in Bohunice, considered essential for the development of athletics in Brno and the whole Czech Republic, received a building permit at the end of June. However, the commencement of work has been delayed by city authorities, due to a funding shortfall of several hundred million crowns. Image: Courtesy of MMB.

Brno, Jul 10 (BD) – Work has been interrupted on the proposed Athletics Hall in Bohunice, due to a funding shortfall of several hundred million crowns. The project has been in doubt for some time, as the estimated costs of the project more than doubled from CZK 400 million to CZK 900 million, with no additional funding from the Czech government. The hall received a building permit at the end of June, but the City of Brno has paused work on the project for up to two months, as permitted by the contract, to allow further negotiations towards a solution.

With CZK 100 million provided by the South Moravian Region, and CZK 150 million from the national government, the city is left on the hook for around CZK 650 million, which authorities say is unfeasible. According to Brno Mayor Marketa Vankova (ODS), the project requires funding from other sources to reflect its importance for the whole country: “During this time, we will discuss how to proceed and where to obtain the necessary funding. But Brno cannot be the majority investor in a building project of such supraregional significance, so we expect support from the state.”

As well as providing a home training centre for Brno athletes, and extra sporting facilities for students of Masaryk University, the new hall is designed to make up for shortcomings in available sporting venues nationwide, according to Jaroslav Suchy (KDU-CSL), Brno city council member for sports. In June, a petition signed by over 5,000 people, including Olympic champion javelinist Barbora Špotáková, indoor world champion sprinter Pavel Maslák, and Olympic medallist triple jumper Šárka Kašpárková, called for the project to go ahead.

Quoted in iDnes, Kašpárková said: “We have been waiting for the hall for many years. Even when I was actively competing, I hoped to jump in it one day. It has never been so close, so it would be a shame to let the project rest and for nothing to happen for the next twenty or thirty years.”

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