350 million zlotys for infrastructure investments that will improve the comfort of residents, 200 million zlotys to ease traffic jams on Zakopianka, and another 150 million to modernize the sports base – these are the real benefits of Krakow hosting the 2023 European Games.
The most recent example of how a sporting event will affect the lives of Krakow residents – the construction of a two-kilometre-long cycle path on Stojałowskiego and Cechowa Streets began on 20 February. The programme for the construction of cycle paths is just one of 16 investments under the agreement signed on 29 March 2022. It was signed by the Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk, the Marshal of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship Witold Kozłowski, the Deputy Marshal Łukasz Smółka, the Deputy Governor Ryszard Pagacz and Professor Jacek Majchrowski, the Mayor of Krakow.
Benefits for the inhabitants of Krakow
“The European Games bring real profits. Thanks to multi-million support, important renovations and modernisations of roads, tracks and pavements as well as the construction of cycle paths will be carried out. Strategic urban investments can also count on co-financing,” stressed president Majchrowski.
Janusz Kozioł, vice-president of the management board of the European Games 2023 company, adds that although the Games cost around 400 million PLN (100 million PLN each will be allocated by Krakow and the Małopolska Voivodeship, and 200 million PLN by the government), the benefits for the city and the region are much greater. “We get money for development, which never came here, and thanks to the Games did not go to other regions of the country, but came specifically here,” he points out.
The March 2022 agreement itself means that 350 million PLN will flow to Krakow. They have been earmarked for investments which will have a positive impact on the residents of the city. Their comfort and safety of life will be improved. These include, above all, renovated roads, new tracks, pavements and cycle paths.
“Thanks to the agreement, a number of key infrastructure investments will be realised in the regional capital. They will serve the inhabitants for many years. This is another value of organising this event in our voivodship,” says Witold Kozłowski, Marshall of the Małopolska voivodship.
Streets, tracks, pavements and paths to be rebuilt
The contract provides for the following investments in Krakow: extension of streets: Al. 29 Listopada (38 million PLN), Igołomska (36.2 million PLN ), Wrobel (9.7 million PLN ), Rogozińskiego and al. Pokoju (7.2 million PLN ), Łokietka (5.3 million PLN), Forteczna (PLN 4.9 million), Ważewskiego (PLN 2.8 million), Czerwone Maki (PLN 2.1 million), as well as thorough reconstruction of Królowej Jadwigi (28 million PLN), Glinik (7.4 million PLN), Fatimska (2.2 million PLN) streets. Modernisation will also include tram tracks (39.4 million PLN) and the construction of a traffic system by the university hospital (22.5 million PLN).
The pavement construction programme alone amounts to around 102 million PLN . In addition, a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Grzegórzki and Zabłocie will be built near the railway bridge over the Vistula (30 million PLN). The European Games will also help to extend the network of cycle paths (22.6 million PLN).
Another gain for Krakow is government money for the Opatkowice junction on the A 4 motorway at the exit towards Zakopane. After modernisation worth 200 million PLN, the crossing is expected to be smoother. Thanks to money from the European Union, new trams will also arrive at Wawel Castle. The organisation of the European Games has brought this decision significantly closer. The 60 new trams will cost around 500 million PLN.
A more beautiful stadium, new tartan and basketball courts
Infrastructure investment is one thing, but another benefit for Kraków is the modernisation of the sports base. Around 150 million PLN of government money will go towards this. Almost one hundred million zlotys has been earmarked for the renovation of the Henryk Reyman Municipal Stadium. Wisła football team plays there on a daily basis, but during IE 2023 the opening and closing ceremonies will take place here, as well as the sevens rugby competition. The amount mentioned will allow for the modernisation of the façade of all stands and installations related to ventilation, air conditioning, heating, as well as electrical and teletechnical systems. As part of the works, it is planned to replace windows, doors and improve the overall aesthetics. So that the facility will look more impressive on the outside. The changes are also intended to make the stadium more energy-efficient.
Another facility that will benefit from the European Games is the white-water canoeing course at the Kolna Sports Centre. An investment of more than 43 million PLN is planned, which will include upgrading the track bed along its entire length (320 metres) and renovating the bottom. For the time being, before the event itself, there will be a so-called ‘facelift’ of the track – the replacement of obstacles needed for competitions or the construction of a starting platform.
The third sports investment is the construction of a 3×3 basketball court at the 100th Anniversary Hall of KS Cracovia – Sports Centre for the Disabled. A court for this discipline adapted to the regulations of the basketball federation (FIBA) will be built there, as well as stands and lighting. The cost of construction is 3 million PLN (2.7 million PLN) will be provided by the government). As part of the European Games, the athletics stadium (including the replacement of the tartan) at the Academy of Physical Education in Kraków and the games hall, where the modern pentathlon competition will take place, are being modernised. This investment has been subsidised to the tune of PLN 39 million.