As outbreak rocks Novyimir settlement, Dynamo scramble to find new stadium
Refusing to forfeit their next home game, Novyimir Dynamo executives announced plans to hastily construct a temporary stadium in neighbouring Korolev after the team was shut out of its home field by the ongoing quarantine.
But Dynamo majority owner Melnikov Aleskeevich — already facing a dismal season with a last-place team and drooping attendance — lashed out at what he called a “ridiculous expense,” calling on the Novyimir administration to foot the bill for the relocation.
“It’s their mess,” he said. “How am I expected to pay for all of this? I can’t afford it, but I can’t afford to miss games either.”
Novyimir’s Interior Ministry has repeatedly deflected inquiries into the cause of the outbreak that has so far killed three people at the settlement.
But inspectors from the Martian Council for the Control of Infectious Diseases have suggested the Chubarov outbreak started with “an extreme breach of protocol” at a containment centre at sub-station in Novyimir, where two crew members returning from an 18-month expedition to Ceres were inexplicably allowed back into the open population without the requisite medical testing.
When news of the outbreak first emerged last week, the Dynamo were at an away match in Huacheng. Since then, the entire team has been stranded, after all non-essential travel in and out of Novyimir was banned until Martian Council inspectors complete their investigation — a process expected to take at least three weeks.
The scale of the outbreak remains unclear, with Council officials accusing Novyimir of deliberately downplaying the gravity of the little-known illness that apparently attacks the respiratory system.
“My kids are still there,” Dynamo midfielder Oksana Makarovna said. “I’m trying not to think about it but I just — it’s hard. They’re OK, and I’m sure this is all just a precaution, but it’s scary.”
The team is now scheduled to play the week 15 home game in Korolev, Novyimir’s smaller, sister settlement to the south. The new stadium at Korolev is expected to be finished in time for the Dynamo to host Europa United.
Dynamo executives are planning to fully refurbish a rudimentary pitch in a defunct strip mine just outside of Korolev, which has only been used for recreational and youth matches. The overhaul will involve excavation work to widen and lengthen the field to MAFL standards, as well as the construction of basic spectator areas on the top deck and a infrastructure for broadcast to quarantined fans in Novyimir.