Nikolajka Winter Stadium. Photo: Jan Puci
The Nikolajka winter stadium in the fifth district of the city is coming to an end. The owner of the building, which is the company NIKO Praha, will not open it in the new building after the holidays for several reasons. The representatives of Prague 5 have now announced that they managed to find an investor not only for a temporary replacement for the stadium, but also for a long-term solution in the form of a new permanent ice rink.
Nikolajka is a popular ice rink that has been in its place since 1961. It is used for children’s and adults’ matches by hockey players from HC Smíchov, figure skaters from the Stadion Praha club and the general public. However, the owner does not make ice after the holidays. It is said to be due to a combination of several reasons.
“Due to the long extension of the deadline, the necessary reconstruction of the engine room and the plan to change the heating and heating cannot be carried out until the beginning of the new winter season. The continued operation of the existing engine room and gas heating would no longer be safe,” Barbora Lexová told the Pražský patriot server on behalf of NIKO Praha last month.
According to her, the operation of the stadium for last year. In addition, the rental prices of the ice surface failed to reflect a significant increase in operating costs, especially a several-fold increase in the price of gas.
“Based on negotiations with the tenants of the ice surface, it emerged that in the following winter season from September 2022 to April 2023, it was not possible to reflect the costs in the price of the new ice surface,” added Lexová. Since May, Nikolajka has been used for inline hockey.
According to Prague 5 councilor David Dušek (STAN), the company already received financial support for the repair of the engine room. “The building is in a very bad condition in terms of construction and technology, the owner does not invest in it for a long time. The necessary reconstruction of the engine room, for which the owners already received a subsidy in 2020, did not take place,” said Dušek.
“The ravages of time have irreversibly bitten the stadium. It makes no economic sense to invest in the further operation of a significantly outdated stadium. Rather than fighting with the owner for years, we prefer to choose our way,” said Prague 5 mayor Renáta Zajíčková (ODS).
The owners of the stadium told ČTK that they informed the town hall about the situation. “The municipality did not offer us any specific help. Our goal is to maintain sporting activities at the Nikolajka stadium in the future, we are currently reassessing the reconstruction plan with regard to the development of energy and water,” the company said.
The management of Prague 5 approved the Memorandum on a common procedure for dealing with the lack of ice surfaces associated with the closure of the Nikolajka winter stadium. The document was signed yesterday by all parties involved,
In this matter, according to Zajíčková, the management of the town hall will negotiate with the municipality and use the acquisition of land for a short-term, and mainly long-term, solution to the situation. Short-term compensation could consist of covering the winter area on the leased land, long-term then in the construction of a new stadium.
According to Dušek’s earlier statement, the implementation of the short-term solution would take three to six months depending on the choice of technologies, the construction costs are estimated at 15 to 32 million crowns. The stadium would be more demanding in terms of time and money.
“We managed to get an investor who will provide the necessary financial cooperation, which can be used to implement a long-term and short-term solution. He undertook to operate, in the long-term version, a new winter stadium and to enable the implementation of all sports activities of HC Smíchov and the figure skating club Stadion Praha under conditions corresponding to the conditions for both clubs,” said councilor Dušek.
Zajíčková added that the town hall wants to be clear about where the new ice surface will be created by the end of the holidays. She later stated on Facebook that the negotiated investor is the company Fermstav represented by businessman Slavomír Pavlíček, who co-founded the game studio Bohemia Interactive.
“By preliminary agreement, two suitable plots of land in Jinonice were selected. Their owner is the capital city of Prague. We will discuss the possibility of implementing the plan with representatives of the municipality,” added the mayor.