New National Stadium to Cost ISK 14.2 Billion

It will cost an estimated ISK 14.2 billion [$99.8 million; €92.1 million] to build Iceland’s new national stadium, RÚV reports.

The overall cost of the project is to be split between the state and the City of Reykjavík, but it has yet to be determined how the expense will be divided.

See Also: Location Chosen for New National Stadium

The new stadium, intended to be ready for use by 2025, will be 19,000 sq m and accommodate 8,600 people for sporting events and 12,000 people for concerts. It will have facilities for handball and volleyball matches, basketball and football games, and more.

Location Chosen for New National Sporting Arena

The working committee for Iceland’s new national sporting arena has selected a location for the facility and it’s hoped that construction will begin at the end of 2023, RÚV reports. If everything goes to plan, the new arena will be ready for use some time in 2025.

The new national arena will be built between Laugardalsvöllur, the existing arena on the east side of Reykjavík, and Suðurlandsbraut. The working committee is currently writing a land-use plan that they expect to complete by March or April. The committee intends to present a detailed justification for the site selection and a report on the scope of construction in mid-December.

The next major step for the committee is to determine what the exact dimensions of the facility need to be in order to meet international requirements for hosting national sporting events. Once the square meterage has been established, the committee will be able to provide a reasonably accurate estimate for how much the arena will cost. The expense will be shared by both the city and the national government, although in what proportion is not yet clear.

City of Reykjavík Plants Himalayan Palms in Laugardalur

City horticulturists have planted five palm trees in the Laugardalur neighbourhood on the east side of Reykjavík, Vísir reports. The aim of this perhaps unusual landscaping choice is to investigate how these plants respond to Icelandic weather conditions. The palm variety chosen for the experiment are from the Himalayas and therefore better suited to colder temperatures.

According to an announcement on the City of Reykjavík website, the five palms were planted in a sheltered spot along Sunnuvegur road and will be closely monitored through the coming winter. The experiment was initiated by horticulturists Guðlaug Guðjónsdóttir and Hannes Þór Hafsteinsson, who are leading efforts to diversify plant life in the city.

Reykjavík palm trees
[/media-credit] The plan for Vogabyggð neighbourhood includes two palm trees housed in glass tubes.

The palm-planting experiment is particularly interesting in light of the somewhat controversial plans put forth by the city in January to add two palm trees housed in heated glass tubes to the landscaping plans for the new Vogabyggð neighbourhood on the east side of the city. The cost of planting and housing the two trees was projected at ISK 140 million ($1.2m/€1m), or 1% of the total cost of the neighbourhood’s construction. According to Karin Sander, the artist behind the tropical design, her intention was to bring a bit of southerly flavour to the neighbourhood residents’ daily life.

“Instead of taking a tree from Norway, we take a tree that brings to mind summer holidays, beaches, and leisure,” she explained at the time. “We’re not only bringing the trees but also the climate to Iceland.”

Reykjavík Approves Another Secret Solstice Festival

Reykjavík City Council approved a contract with representatives from Secret Solstice music festival for three days of concerts in Laugardalur from July 21-23, RÚV reports. The festival is heavily in debt to the city and has also been accused of neglecting to pay artists. The production company that took over the festival last year point to its previous organisers are responsible.

In April it was reported that Secret Solstice owed the City of Reykjavík a total of ISK 42.5 million ($354,000/€314,000), a debt that the capital’s district commissioner had unsuccessfully attempted to recover four times. The freshly-signed contract outlines a repayment schedule from the festival to the city amounting to ISK 19 million ($154,000/€138,000). It also stipulated that the city will contribute ISK 8 million ($65,000/€58,000) in funding to the festival, on the condition that it be more family-friendly than in previous years. The festival organisers are also required to return the Laugardalur area in the same condition as they received it before the rental period.

Past performers sue

Metal band Slayer, who headlined the festival last year, is reportedly suing its organisers for only having received partial payment. The band says it is still owed ISK 16 million ($133,000/€118,000). Icelandic feminist rap collective Reykjavíkurdætur has also recently blasted the festival, saying that not only were they not paid for last year’s festival, but they’ve also been invited this year to perform for free.