Bodø/Glimt will build a new stadium

Bodø/Glimt will build a new stadium

Shock: Under the old platform in Aspmyra it looks like this. Orjan Berg couldn't help but laugh at the sight. Photo: Bjorn S. Dilipik/VG

The old toilets, barracks and floodlights from Olival Stadium are tired. Norway's top football club is experiencing growing pains – and needs treatment fast.

-We now have two of them in Baba Bayram, and we can only hope that a few of them will have children before they return. Because if everyone is here, there is no room. It's full of chess!

Orjan Berg laughs, but his point is serious:

Bodø/Glimt has sprung from Aspmyra – in most respects.

The club has achieved incredible success over the past five years. From 40 to 115 employees since 2017.

Now the club wants to take a new and important step: a completely new stadium.

The plans have been discussed repeatedly for several years. It now seems closer than ever, but money is still needed.

The new main hall will provide better sporting opportunities for the first team. But it will also provide better space for employees and Glimt will contribute to increasing the number of aisles to the width of the area.

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Glimt management received VG files on the status of the track in Oslo. They don't want the same thing to happen in their city.

But most of all it's about the Aspmyra being upgrade-ready. The main platform dates back to 1966. Managing Director Frode Thomassen took VG on a tour and told us about 50-60 million in upgrades in recent years.

– In order to continue developing, infrastructure is the most important thing for us now, says Thomassen.

Head coach Keitel Knuten is quite clear:

– Unfortunately, the facility here is too old and worn out to be renovated any further. If Glimt is to be part of the future, it's very simple. We must have a new stadium in Bodø, and that opportunity is now available. So I hope that politicians, the business world and everyone will come forward and see the importance of having a big club in Bodø, Knutsen tells VG.

Ketil Knutsen
Ketil Knutsen

Budo/Glimt trainer

– What happens if not?

-There is no chance of it becoming part of Europe over time. The demand for playgrounds increases with each passing year. The successful coach says that Budo/Glimt simply could not be part of this merry-go-round.

Simply put, the athletic success since claiming silver in 2019 has given Glimt significant growing pains. From 2017 to today, the number of employees has increased from 40 to 115 employees. New seating, a new grandstand section, a new changing room section and a media section where the old bowling alleys were. All examples of things that have been done.

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But the tour with Thomassen and Organ Berg shows many things to do.

The floodlights have been around since the early 2000s and are the old floodlights (!) from the Ullevaal Stadium. Orjan Berg himself played several matches under the same lights.

  • – The equipment is out of production. We spend half a million on maintenance. We have the fixtures in stock for another 3-4 years,” says Thomassen.
  • The toilets in the old amphitheater are so tired that the Glimt boys are almost embarrassed to show them off.
  • The fuse box on the same bracket has old solenoid fuses.
  • Kiosks are located in the barracks.

Orjan Berg says it well:

Runes One time during a break I went to buy coffee and came out with a quarter of an hour to play.

The Berg family ruled Aspmyra for several decades. Patrick, Harald, Organ and Runard. The photo is from a previous event. Photo: Bjorn S. Dilipik/VG

Thomassen has traveled extensively in European arenas in recent years and has no doubt that Glimt is the worst in its class as it is now.

The new arena is estimated to cost NOK 750 million and will seat 10,000 spectators. Glimt itself will come in between 50 and 100 million.

-We have a plan. We think the club will do its share, and then we hope for a bit from the public sector, but we realize it's not much. In business, we also have players who want to participate, says Thomassen.

– Many people think that we are “awash” with money, but we are not. We are a strong, strong club, but we don't have hundreds of millions of kroner to go towards a new stadium, says Thomassen of the club, which last year made a profit of 50 million kroner.

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Glimt is in dialogue with the municipality about how the club can contribute to ensuring that the new stadium can also contribute to the creation of more and better grass pitches for children and young people.

Because as Orjan Berg says: everything is connected to everything:

Glimt's A teams want less pressure and less wear and tear on the pitch. This means that Glimt Academy has to go out into the local area, which in turn puts additional pressure on the pathway used by children and young people.

The tracks there already have a long backlog of cover changes and many have very worn artificial grass, like the one just outside Aspmyra.

-We strongly believe that the shovel will be in the ground next year. But it is very important that this is not just an arena for Glimt. It will embrace sports and football in the city. Frode Thomassen says this will be a boost for sport in the region.

For Orjan Berg and many others with him, there is a lot of emotion in Aspmyra. His father started here, Orjan and his brothers played here and now his son Patrick is the captain of the Glimt team.

Unlike the Berg family, Aspmyra appears to have expired.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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