President Nicos Anastasiades on Saturday laid the foundation stone at a ceremony for the new multi-million Limassol Arena.
The new stadium, which is expected to be finished by summer 2021 and cost €28 million, will be home to the three Limassol-base football clubs, AEL, Apollon, and Aris.
Setting the foundation stone and placing what appeared to be a time capsule of newspaper clippings in a glass jar into the stone, Anastasiades said the day was very important to the city and especially the football teams, who were aware of all the difficulties in getting the stadium approved.
The project was initially delayed because the stadium had to be redesigned to meet European football governing body, Uefa’s, Champions League specifications.
“I am completely satisfied, as this project has been a steady demand of the Limassolian football clubs, and the residents of Limassol for more than two decades,” Anastasiades said.
He added that the stadium being built was in line with international guidelines, will be modern, and be capable of hosting various football and other events.
The stadium will have modern security systems and will take away from the problems caused in residential areas by the current Limassol stadium, Tsireio. The new stadium will be built in the Kolossi area.
Anastasiades added they were looking into making upgrades to the existing Tsireio stadium and the island’s other stadiums. They were also looking into ways to make better use of the stadiums.
Ground works for the construction of the new football stadium started last February. The government already leased the land to the three Limassol clubs, which were to take a loan from a bank that the government would repay.