The idea of a new stadium For BATE in Borisov has been discussed for a long time. But first it was just fans' dreams. But the breakthrough to the UEFA Champions League group stage gave reason for thinking about it seriously. BATE's performance in UEFA Europa League contributed to the aspirations of many: BATE needs a new arena, that will enable the club receive group stage matches of European Club Competitions in its native town. In December 2009 in an interview to Pressball newspaper after the away match against Everton F.C. the chairman of the club Anatoli Kapski shared his thoughts: 'In recent time we think a lot about a new stadium. Fans want to see a bigger ground in Borisov. We discussed it with town and region authorities. We plan to initiate construction of a stadium with 12-15 thousands capacity, that would give us opportunity to receive international group stage matches in Borisov. It should not be an expensive project, but modern, convenient and functional. There are enough examples in Europe. For example, Ljudski Vrt in Slovenia, stadium in Mainz, AZ Alkmaar stadium. This can also be used by the national team. I think our town deserved it.'
The idea of a new stadium united all the football-lovers of Borisov. In 2010 the work started. Borisov MPs created an initiative group and addressed the president of the country Alexander Lukashenko with an idea of building a new stadium. 'Town Stadium, in spite of UEFA license, does not meet the level that FC BATE has achieved. As a result, the club has to play its home matches in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group stages in Minsk in Dinamo Stadium. What is more, soon the national stadium will be closed for renovation. And in Belarus there are no good stadiums to receive matches of this rank. We think our city has deserved the right to receive group stage matches of UEFA Competitions. That's why we need a 12-15 thousand stadium. We can reconstruct the old one or build a new arena. And it is important that it meets all the UEFA criteria for games of high level. The head of the state gave the instruction to the Council of Ministers, Minsk Region Executive Committee together with Belarusian Football Federation to work through this idea and give their suggestions till 1 June 2010', - commented Vladimir Guminskiy, one of the members of the group.
Meanwhile the club started to look for an projector company. Having analised a lot of options, BATE chose for Slovenian firm Ofis arhitekti. Since 1998, when it was established, the company gained top reputation for its sports objects. The most well-known was Ljudski Vrt in Maribor. For that project the company was awarded a silver medal in IOC/IAKS contest.
In summer 2010 architects Spela Videcnik and Rok Oman finished their work on the unique stadium project. It is a purely football arena with the capacity of 12548 spectators, that meets the requirements for UEFA Category 4, that enables BATE receive not only qualifying stages of European Competitions, but also games of the group stage and knockout rounds of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
Total capacity includes VIP-box for more than 600 people. It will be joint with the dressing rooms by a gallery that goes round the arena. Press-box capacity can be changed depending on the demand. 144 seats will be equipped with tables, but the overall capacity can be increased up to 256.
Great attention is paid to safety and security. The design meets the requirements of UEFA and FIFA. It has enough fire exits, number of seats in any row is not more than 28.
A lot is made for spectators to feel home inside the stadium. Flexibility of the arena gives the opportunity to change the number of food and catering points as well as official merchandise outlets depending on the number of the tickets sold. Visiting fans will get to their seats through a dedicated gate.
The roof of the stadium will be covered with metal sheets from outside and with a special material that will the bearing beams but letting it the light from special lanterns hidden inside the roof. The floodlight lamps for the pitch will be in the ends of the roof.
The final aspect of the complex will have a recognizable image of the dominant facility, placed in soft greenery. The building will have its own, distinctive and modern character and will be based on environmental, user and environmentally friendly approach. Towards outside the stadium will form a unified rounded impression of a single object, which despite the fact that stadium is middle size stadium seating seems large and dominant and powerful. Internally, a rounded shape creates arena that provides good acoustics and extroversive atmosphere, which encourages during the game both, players and fans. During the training it allows introverted concentration on the game.
3.000 m2 public program is distributed in the ground floor level on the North, South and East stands. In the eastern part are restaurant and bowling. The restaurant is used during the games as a VIP-restaurant and a service elevator for catering serves the upper floor VIP lounge and the bar within the public foyer. In the southern part is public fitness/gym. Other bars are for various commercial activities. All the restaurants have separate access from the platform. Around the stadium is the pedestrian platform that embraces it as a peripheral roundabout. Out of it are parking places that are organized as pockets, hidden among the greenery. These pockets are in a time with no match used for skating, rollerblading, carting.
Officially the construction of the new stadium began 12 November 2010. The president of the country Alexander Lukashenko took part in the laying of the first brick ceremony. He highlighted important achievements of BATE on the international level. 'Your guys play really well, it is a pleasure to watch them. The team is your face, and we are to keep it', - said the head of the state.
The climax of the ceremony was laying of the capsule with a message to descendants. It was performed by Alexander Lukashenko as well as the head coach Viktar Hancharenka, team captain Dzmitry Likhtarovich and vice-captain Aliaksandr Yurevich. And younger generation was represented by Alexander Pavlovets, a pupil in Borisov Sports School.
'We hope that this stadium will become one of the favourite place of adults and children', - said the message to the descendants.
It is expected that the stadium will be open in 2014.