According to mno.hu, Hungary’s is going to become the country of stadiums by 2020 because based on the decisions of the government, sport establishments in almost 32 locations will be built or renewed from 250 billion forint (~EUR 810m) worth public fund. Not to mention that expenses are increasing quickly along the way, without any explanation. This is the panorama of today’s Hungarian stadium-reality.
The Hungarian government is determined to bring Hungarian football to the world standard with an incredible amount of public fund that’s about to be spent on the stadiums of 32 locations until 2020. Based on available information, the investments make up for around gross 268.38 billion forints (~EUR 869m), out of which 250 billion (~EUR 810m) is from public fund. And it must be emphasized that this is the current budget, but following the trend, the sum will increase along the way.
What is this based on? Well, according to the plans, seven stadiums should be finished by the end of 2018, and the now more than gross 190 billion forint (~EUR 620m) budget Puskás Stadium is supposed to be inaugurated in 2019 as four European Championship matches will be held there in the summer of 2020. Concerning the budget, the Groupama Arena (19.51 billion forints ~ EUR 63m, 22,500 seats) and the Nagyerdei Stadium (17.1 billion forints ~ EUR 55m, 20,340 seats) could be the ideal starting point, because even experts think that the budget of these two stadiums were realistic. Besides these two, the Pancho Arena’s 3.7 billion (~EUR 12m) budget and 3,500 seats could be mentioned here. All three establishments were inaugurated in 2014. Since then, stadium constructions are characterised by such an inflation rate that even sport economists find unreasonable. Additionally, the expanses somehow always increase along the way.
Everything has become more expensive
For instance, MTK’s new stadium and the sport hall at the Lantos Mihály sporting site should’ve cost 5.65 billion forints (~EUR 18m), but even the contract of execution listed 6.31 billion (~EUR 20m), which turned out to be 8.31 billion (~EUR 27m) by the end of the construction.
Videoton’s new establishment has to match UEFA’s requirements about 8000 seats, 500 VIP seats, at least 25 photo and commentator stands, and a 105×68 m pitch. The stadium is being built in accordance with these criteria; however, the originally planned budget of 9 billion forints (~EUR 29m) is now at 18.7 billion (~EUR 61m).
The stadium of Szombathely could be built for 15.2 billion forints (~EUR 49m) instead of 9.6 billion (~EUR 31m), because the cabinet listed the difference as a unit in the 2017 budget. Vasas is also getting a new stadium, with an expandable eastern stand. Originally 7.5 billion forints (~EUR 24m) were listed in the governmental resolution, to which 5.4 billion (~EUR 17m) were added at the end of last year.
It seems like Diósgyőr also felt like a budget expansion was needed, because the planned 10.9 billion (~EUR 35m) has grown to 14.015 billion (~EUR 45m). And we can’t forget about Puskás Ferenc Stadium, whose budget suddenly grew to 190 billion (~EUR 620m) from the already overpriced 100 billion (~EUR 323m) 24 hours after the withdrawal of the Olympic bid. It also turns out from the announcement of the Highlighted Governmental Investments’ Centre that these jobs will be done by companies close to Lőrinc Mészáros (mayor of Viktor Orbán’s hometown) although, even the prime minister himself said in 2011 that 100 billion (~EUR 323m) is too much for the Puskás Stadium.
What about sustainability?
Well, as they say, times change, and so do opinions. Another key aspect is that after the construction works, these establishments have to be sustained, which would cost 50-70 billion forints/year (~EUR 162-226m).
Sport economists believe that it would take around 110 years for these investments to payback. So the questions arises: is it worth for the country? For some people, surely. If you want to know the reason behind the increase of budgets, you have to look at the proprietary circle of the executor companies. If we look at the list of companies who win the tenders financed by public funds, we’ll only find companies close to the government.
For instance, Market Inc. and ZÁÉV Inc. in István Garancsi’s interest circle, whose subcontractor, one of Lőrinc Mészáros’s newest companies, “accidentally” appeared in the construction of the MTK Stadium.
Swietelsky Hungary Kft. was the executor of the Szombathely Stadium, while Hunép Universal Inc. and Épkerservice Inc. were the executors of the Debrecen Stadium. The West Hungary Bau Kft. entered the stadium business as one of the executors of the MTK Stadium, but Attila Paár’s company became famous mainly due to the many governmental assignments like the Castle Garden Bazaar, the Bálna or the Festetics Castle of Keszthely.
And last but not least, the Pharos ’95 Kft. is not only the executor of the Zalaegerszeg Stadium’s finishing works, but also the owner of its team. The company took part in the development works of 11 stadiums and even has a site in Felcsút, in Fő Street 311/5. Why this is interesting? Well, based on the company registry, this is Lőrinc Mészáros address and the headquarters of Mészáros and Mészáros Kft.
Photos: www.mnsk.hu, MTI, www.facebook.com/MészárosLőrinc-vállalkozó