- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

TIRANA, Albania (AP) - The destruction of 70-year old Qemal Stafa Stadium in Albania has begun to make way for a new 22,300-seat National Arena.

Bulldozers were busy on the site on Thursday, while the seats were being removed to be placed in other stadiums in the country.

The 50 million euro ($56.5 million) project, to be finished in three years, has been controversial because the new, slightly bigger arena was combined with shopping, entertainment, bars and a hotel in the capital Tirana.

It’s the latest stadium project by the government, which renewed the stadium in Elbasan, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital, in 2013 for European Championship qualifiers, and was reconstructing another stadium in the northern city of Shkodra.

Albania surprisingly qualified for Euro 2016, which starts on Friday.

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