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Dream move for Viking

Norwegian Premier Division side Viking FK are to move into a 13,800-seater stadium next year.

Norwegian Premier Division side Viking FK are to move into a 13,800-seater stadium next year.

Dream realised
Viking, from Norway's oil capital Stavanger, have now raised the €21m needed to realise their dream of a new modern home with no possibility of improving their current Stavanger stadium. Building in Jåttåvågen, just outside Stavanger city, is scheduled to begin on Monday 3 March.

'It feels very good'
"I am delighted that everything now is set. It has been like a long distance race, but now it feels very good," said Ove Rugland, chairman of the building committee. The club hope to move into the ground in April 2004, in time for that year's league season.

Bank completes funding
Funding of nearly €4m from the local SR-Bank has allowed Viking to commence the development, added to €6.6m raised by the local community. "We have been Viking's bank for more than 100 years and are glad to help," said SR-Bank director Terje Vareberg. "It is very important for the district to get a new stadium."

Capacity increase
Along with the 13,800 seats, the arena will boast accommodation for 1,000 VIP guests, including 27 executive lounges, and a training facility. Vikings managing director Bjarne Berntsen said: "This will be a very versatile stadium. If we take away the seats on the stands behind the goals, the capacity will be increased to 18,000."

Chelsea victory
Viking have been Norwegian champions eight times, including four seasons in a row between 1971 and 1974, their most recent title coming in 1991, the last time Rosenborg BK were denied the title. The Stavanger club returned to the limelight this season by knocking English Premiership team Chelsea FC out of the UEFA Cup.