11/3 2024

The present structural condition of the nearly forty-year-old OSTRAVAR ARENA, combined with a significant rise in electricity and heating costs, has prompted the city to commission a study for future decision-making on the architectural renovation of this distinctive building and its potential use in the years ahead.


Ostravar Arena. Photo: Adolf Horsinka

The study, conducted by the esteemed Institut für Sportsättenberatung GmbH (IFS), evaluated three potential solutions, ultimately deeming the renovation of the OSTRAVAR ARENA for events without an ice surface, in conjunction with the development of a new premier ice sports centre, as the most efficient approach. The financial estimates for this option currently range between 1.8 and 2.3 billion CZK.

“The city systematically and long-term undertakes numerous steps in support of sport, including the development of requisite infrastructure across a broad spectrum of sports activities. Considering the number of current athletes, whether they are elite, performance, or amateur squads in ice hockey, para hockey, university hockey, figure skating, or the general skating public, we recognise a shortfall in ice surfaces within the city. Equally, aside from the OSTRAVAR ARENA, Ostrava lacks venues suitable for hosting events with a capacity exceeding two thousand spectators (concerts, conferences, international ball sports events, etc.). The utilisation of the arena is significantly restricted by its almost year-round operation as an ice stadium, with scheduling adapted to the elite and youth hockey calendar. The total capacity of approximately 10,000 seats for ice sports is utilised only a few times a year, necessitating considerations of operational costs in light of energy consumption and economic impacts,” stated Jan Dohnal, the city’s Mayor.

The OSTRAVAR ARENA, inaugurated in 1986, remains an architectural landmark of the city. It has undergone several modernisations, the most significant of which was the renovation in 2003-2004. With a capacity of up to 11,000 spectators, it ranks among the largest multipurpose halls in the country. Throughout a typical season, the arena welcomes several hundred thousand visitors, both local and international. The arena also serves as the home stadium for the HC VÍTKOVICE RIDERA hockey club and hosts domestic and international activities for figure skaters, para hockey players, university hockey teams, and recreational players. Given the venue’s footfall and usage, certain building components and technologies, such as the air conditioning, heating systems, and cladding, require reconstruction and modernisation. A critical consideration is the building’s energy efficiency in the context of rising energy prices (electricity, heating).

“The new ice sports centre is planned with a capacity of seven thousand seats for spectators and ample facilities to meet the demands of the highest domestic competitions and international events. In addition to the main ice surface, it is expected to offer two training surfaces of standard dimensions and one ice surface approximately half the size of a standard rink. The new centre will also include facilities for off-ice training activities (a gym, a weight room). The existing arena will continue to serve until the opening of the new ice sports centre, after which it will be renovated and modernised to subsequently host events not requiring an ice surface. This solution allows the arena to be offered for events with a desired capacity of 2–10 thousand visitors, addressing the current lack of such spaces, and leveraging the strategic location of the venue for visitors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland, as well as its excellent transport accessibility and parking facilities directly at the site,” added Mayor Jan Dohnal.

The study explored three potential renovation strategies for the arena. The first option involved a complete renovation of the existing arena while maintaining its current use, entailing costs of approximately 2.5 – 3 billion CZK. A disadvantage is the venue’s closure for at least two years and the subsequent need to find alternative spaces for the local elite league hockey team and other ice sports clubs, which could have economic and sporting repercussions. The second option, the construction of a new ice sports centre while retaining the arena without an ice surface, anticipates costs of 1.8 to 2.3 billion CZK. These estimates do not include the costs of acquiring land should the construction take place outside the properties owned by VÍTKOVICE ARENA. This approach to addressing the current situation also considers the possibility of implementing the project through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The third option involved demolishing the existing building and constructing a completely new multifunctional arena on the original site. This is the most expensive option, with costs ranging between 6–10 billion CZK. Moreover, the architectural value of the building is significant, and sports facilities for the public would likely be unavailable for more than three years.

Last year, the city completed the renovation of the Poruba Sports Complex (https://www.ostrava.cz/cs/o-meste/aktualne/rekonstrukce-sportovniho-arealu-poruba-byla-dokoncena), as well as the construction of a new sports hall in Třebovice (https://www.ostrava.cz/cs/o-meste/aktualne/lide-v-trebovicich-mohou-sportovat-v-nove-hale). At the beginning of this year, the first phase of the extensive renovation of the multifunctional ice hockey arena in Ostrava-Poruba was completed (https://www.ostrava.cz/cs/o-meste/aktualne/prvni-etapa-rozsahle-rekonstrukce-multifunkcniho-arealu-v-ostrave-porube-byla-dokoncena).