Controversy in Wiesbaden
The recent decision by the DFL (German Football League) to approve a change in stadium licensing regulations has caused quite a bit of controversy at SV Wehen Wiesbaden. After spending €9 million building a new stand (completion is expected later this year) to meet the minimum 15,000 capacity requirement for all Bundesliga.2 stadiums, Wehen have now been told that clubs with average attendances below 7,500 (Wehen rarely attract numbers over 4,000!) now only have to provide a minimum capacity of 12,500 instead.
With the new stand at a very advanced stage and just needing the roof to be fitted, the irony is that the Brita-Arena met this requirement before the work began which makes the timing of the DFL's decision rather unfortunate. Worse still, the local taxpayer association was already up in arms about the fact that €3.5 million of public money was being used to help fund the project in the first place !
However, although the work is no longer needed for the specific purpose of meeting stadium regulations and that the tax payers remain furious, it's not exactly been a waste of money. The Brita-Arena was built in 2007 and was only ever intended to be a temporary construct, with tubular stands and a distinct lack of brave new world stadia amenities. The new stand will therefore be the first permanent part of the ground and offer police, fire department and crowd control facilities as well as providing space for Wehen's fan shop.