Friday, 18. April 2014
10. 02. 14. - 15:00
Managers at Austrian far Right leader Joerg Haider's recently completed football stadium are so desperate to find a use for the 90 million Euros building they are using it to stage a billard contest.
Before his death Haider had been determined to convert his ski loving province to football by building a 30,000 stadium - in a city of just 90,000.
Like Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who bought Chelsea football club, Haider wanted to have a good football club in Carinthia, but unlike Abramovich, he did not have the money for the planned stadium.
Instead he had pressurised the national government to have his region included in the timetable for the UEFA Euro 2008, using funds from the local government and bank Hypo Alpe Adria (HGAA). The Hypo bank was effectively a personal piggy bank for Haider as he embarked on an ever greater number of personal projects in a strategy that eventually saw the bank nationalised to prevent it from collapsing.
Haider died in a car crash in October 2008 but before his death the most ambitious of all the personal projects he engaged in was the desire to turn the ski loving people in the mountainous region of Carinthia into football fans - and build the international standard stadium for them to play in.
The Carinthian capital Klagenfurt, a city of just 90,000, had no decent club when Haider had unveiled the plan as the local club was relegated again in 2004, and no successful football stadium as the run-down Woerthersee stadium with 10,000 seats was rarely sold out.
Haider was not deterred by the lack of enthusiasm for football in his ski-loving province, and nor was he bothered by the fact that they did not even have a good local club. That was solved when he persuaded the Bundesliga club ASKOE Pasching to move to Klagenfurt to play under the new name of SK Austria Kaernten.
The Hypo and the Bayerische Landesbank in Germany that wanted to take the club over were told 10 million Euros in sponsorship was needed in exchange for his approval for a takeover deal.
The first payment was made in 2007. For their money the new stadium in Woerthersee was renamed as the "Hypo Group Arena", the bank got a 10-year advertising deal, 100 free grandstand tickets and the use of five VIP boxes. But the real prize was the approval by Haider of the takeover deal by the Germans of Hypo Group Alpe Adria, and after the sponsorship that deal went through without difficulty.
In the rush to push through the stadium in time for the Euro 2008, the local government ignored basic environmental laws and since then, in order to make it usable, Austria has had to spend another 19.5 million Euros on the project (15.5 from the state and 4 from the region). That is even though everyone agrees it will never make a profit - and will always need subsidies.
Klagenfurt mayor Christian Scheider (FPOE) said in 2012 subsidies host concerts but so far there have been no bookings.
Park spokesman Daniel Greiner said they had managed to get several sporting events booked - including an archery contest and a billiard contest.
Schools Ordered To Save, But Also To Buy Expensive Scales
Austria's embattled finance ministry has been dragged into a new scandal after it emerged that at the same time as demanding schools save 57 Millionen Euros, they were also expected to find an additional 3 million to buy an approved set of weighing scales.
OAP Hunts Down THIS Hit And Run Cyclist
Does anyone recognise this cyclist? If so you can get yourself 200 euros, and do a good deed in the process.
Property price rise continues
The price of property in Vienna has now spiralled so much that every 4th apartment comes with a price tag of 500,000 or more. And every second flat costs 300,000 or more.
Free Staff For One Person Companies - But Only In NÖ
Since the beginning of the year one-man-companies, the so called "Ein-Personen-Unternehmen" in Lower Austria have been entitled to help in the form of a free assistant.
What is on at Burg Kino this week? (18 April - 24 April)
This week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring the following films are showing:
Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika
A huge swastika that has scarred the walls of an Austrian castle for the past 80 years is still on view despite breaching strict postwar rules banning all Nazi symbols.
Jetflyers Take The Jet Ski Onto The Road
An Austrian company is making waves after they came up with the idea of taking a jet ski – and fitting it with wheels.
Nuns invite young women to get a taste of Abbey life
In a bid to revive their Austrian abbey that doubles up as a health resort, a group of nuns are inviting young women to come and stay with them to get a taste of nun life.
Austrian women earning over fifth less than men
Austrian women are earning on average 23.4 percent less than men in the country, according to Statistik Austria.
Exploring photography and art through 1960s cult film Blow-Up
Vienna's Albertina is putting on an photography exhibition featuring stills from the cult sixties photography film Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni.
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