Construction of Sweden's new national football stadium is under way after Princess Victoria cut the first turf at the site of the Swedbank Arena and Arenastaden.
"This is an amazing day for Swedish football," said the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) president, Lars-Åke Lagrell, after the ceremony on 7 December last year. "We took the first step in July 2003. It's been a long road but now we have finally begun. At last we will have a modern, world-class arena for our national team."
Preparatory work had already begun during the autumn at the 50,000-capacity Swedbank Arena, which will be home to the national team as well as the SvFF. With a retractable roof, it is designed to function as a multi-purpose complex for major events all year round.
The Swedbank Arena will be the crown jewel of Arenastaden located in Solna, just outside Stockholm. It will also include the Swedish capital's tallest hotel, Scandinavia's biggest shopping mall, offices for 10,000 people and 2,000 apartments, and is scheduled for completion in 2012.
The SvFF announced the sale of the old national arena, the Råsunda stadium, which hosted the 1958 FIFA World Cup final, to constructors Peab/Fabege for around €50m. They will take over the site once the Swedbank Arena is finished, with the final price depending on permits to build homes and offices there.
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