The Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) is sticking to its goal of breaking ground for its new competence center in Vienna-Aspern in October. A new office and a training center are to be built in Vienna’s urban development area. “Everything is currently on schedule,” said ÖFB interim president Johann Gartner. The budget of now 70 million euros – originally estimated at 60 million euros – should also be adhered to. The training center is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2025.
The federal government, the city of Vienna and the ÖFB should each bear a third of the construction costs themselves. According to Gartner, they are currently working intensively on the subsidy contracts and their approval by the responsible public bodies. A land acquisition agreement is being drafted. “With a project of this magnitude, corresponding lead times must always be taken into account. Our target date in this regard is the end of June 2023, ”explained the ÖFB boss. “The groundbreaking is planned for the end of October.”
Until then, the price guarantees that the ÖFB received in the offers from total contractors in the construction industry should also apply. The tender is already closed. “Together with the companies we have commissioned, we are very confident that we will get everything on track on time,” said Gartner. This should also enable the parameters decided by the ÖFB Executive Committee to be observed – including a cap for the association’s own funds of around 23 million euros.
The property will be owned by the ÖFB. In addition to office space and a conference area, a small stadium, three more natural grass pitches, an artificial grass pitch, and changing rooms and function rooms are to be built. The football hall originally planned will not be built, partly for cost reasons. With this, the budget framework would probably not have been met due to the increased construction and energy prices. Instead, there are residential units that can be used by the national teams during courses.
Gartner’s successor still open
Since the training center is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2025, the senior national team could already prepare for a possible participation in the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico in Aspern. However, the timeline should hold for this plan – even if it is not yet clear next summer who will succeed Gartner as ÖFB President.
Gartner took over the post on an interim basis after Gerhard Milletich resigned at the beginning of February. In his function as head of the regional association of Lower Austria (NÖFV), he voted against the implementation of the project in Aspern in the executive committee in mid-December. “As ÖFB President, I will of course adhere to the existing resolutions,” emphasized the 71-year-old. “There is no doubt that the ÖFB and its national teams need a modern infrastructure.”