Buddhist monks have blessed Leicester City’s new training ground in an elaborate ceremony.
Flowers and coins were scattered while ribbon was tied to the steelwork in an event attended by the squad, manager Brendan Rodgers and chairman Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha, who practices Buddhism and who regularly invites monks to matches to keep luck on City’s side.
With certain days luckier than others in the religion, the logistics of the ceremony caused a two-week delay to work at the £100m complex in Seagrave, project director Martin Burge, of McLaren Construction, revealed.
He told Construction News: “Buddhism is very spiritual. They said it had to be done on a certain day, as some days are luckier than others and in that building it had to be a certain [element “It went to and fro for weeks about what the date was going to be and then we had to make a compromise in the end because we knew where we wanted to make a start in the steelwork.
“It was a really good ceremony. They blessed the steel – tied ribbons round it, and showered it with flowers and coins – and it was cracking to be part of that.of the] steel [structure], as certain areas of the building are lucky and others aren’t. “It had to be done at exactly 10.20am. It was orchestrated to the second.
"We had the crane there with the steel basically hanging from the steel erectors, and we had a countdown from five to one then had to drop it down onto the holding down bolts, tighten it up and release it. “It was one of those where suddenly you’ve got loads of people watching and a bit of steel hanging there and you are thinking – this could go so wrong. “There was an enormous sigh of relief when the steel was there and down.”
City plan to open their new headquarters next summer in the lead up to the 2020-21 campaign.
Despite recent bad weather causing some delays, building work is still on schedule.