Grand Designs - Torun

While British speedway continues to lurch from one crisis to another, Poland relentlessly moves forward, having become the undeniable epicentre of world speedway over the past couple of decades. Perhaps the most visible demonstration of this status is in the extensive redevelopment of existing stadiums and in certain cases the construction of all new arenas. It's difficult not to be slightly envious of our Polish friends when it comes to watching speedway.

While there can often be a certain charm to some of the ramshackle stadiums in the UK, the general public expects much better in this day and age. Football was forced to raise its game following the Hillsborough disaster and the subsequent Taylor report and stadiums throughout the leagues are largely unrecognisable from how they were twenty odd years ago. There are numerous reasons why things are the way they are in speedway, but it basically comes down to a continuous lack of investment and planning over many years and the fact that in general, clubs often rent the stadiums from a landlord and are unwilling to invest in the infrastructure.

The new development in Leicester and the proposed scheme for Belle Vue in Manchester show a way forward, where the speedway track is part of an overall sports and leisure development that can be shown to benefit the local community. This is closer to the Swedish and Danish model, where the speedway teams are usually part of a bigger local motor club, often with a Moto X or karting track as part of the facility. While these schemes are encouraging, they are very modest compared to the developments in Poland.

In a previous post last year we featured the new Moto-Arena in Torun, Poland. This fantastic facility has been purpose built for speedway and as well as being home to the local league team in the domestic Ekstraliga, Torun also hosted its first Grand Prix last year, to universal acclaim.

As it stands, most fans throughout the world would probably think that this is the perfect speedway stadium already, but the plans and visuals from the Architects reveal another element of the design that has yet to be built. The cantilever roof has been cleverly designed so that in the future it can be extended to cover the actual track, thus overcoming one of speedways eternal enemies, the rain. It is not clear when this second stage of the development will take place, but it shows the remarkable ambition behind this stadium and will provide inspiration for future speedway arenas around the world.

1 comment:

  1. an awesome design, the only way forward in the uk is to groung share im afraid.
    bring on the covered tracks thou!!.
    in the meantime come and watch indoors at the braintree bonanza on the 27th!!!.