Stadion im. Ernesta Pohla (Stadion Górnika Zabrze) – until 2016
|Clubs||KS Górnik Zabrze SSA|
|Last renovation year||2011|
|Other names||Adolf Hitler Kampfbahn (1934-1946), Stadion Miejski (1946-2005), Roosevelta Stadium, R81 (nicknames)|
|Opening game||03/1935 (German vs. Polish Upper Silesian teams, 3-3)|
|Renovations||1935, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1988, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008|
|Address||ul. Roosevelta 81, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland|
Stadion Ernesta Pohla – historical stadium description
The idea of building a new stadium in western Hindenburg arose in 1920s. In 1928 a renowned landscape architect from Berlin, Gustaw Allinger, designed a vast complex that included a swimming pool and outdoor sports courts (west), main stadium (central) and two training fields (east). As was common in those days, the entire complex had a simple, symmetric and monumental layout.
Construction of the landfill terracing around a 5-lane running track began in March 1933 and lasted until September of 1934. This is when the building was inaugurated with 8 flat rows of terraces for up to 20,000 people. Decorated with a large Nazi eagle in the west and surrounded with Nazi flags, the building was named Adolf Hitler Kampfbahn.
At that time there was no main grandstand in the west, it was built a year later with Nazi symbols decorating its facade. The building was preserved almost unchanged until 2016, while Hitler’s name seized to be used in 1946, when Hindenburg was turned to now-Polish city of Zabrze. The building was occupied by Soviet armed forces and once they left, Górnik moved in.
The football club soon gained great popularity and in 1950s fought to become Poland’s champion twice, witnessed by thousands upon thousands of people. From 20,000 the stadium grew to 30,000+ by reconfiguration of existing rows and then in 1965 to 40,000+ as additional rows were added on top of the previously-existing ones. In 1967 floodlight masts were erected and, after several upgrades, remained in operation until 2011. In 1980s the giant scoreboard was built behind the southern curve.
Interestingly, though Nazi ornaments were removed right after WWII and Adolf Hitler Kampfbahn was never used after 1946, formally Adolf Hitler was the stadium’s name holder until 2004, when local football legend Ernest Pohl replaced him. Pohl remained the patron until 2016, when official name of Arena Zabrze was adopted.
Poland: Last old stand in Zabrze waiting for demolition
The last piece of Zabrze's old stadium will celebrate its 84th anniversary tomorrow. Meanwhile, next week the building will see its demoliton begin, making way for the last piece of Arena Zabrze to enclose the field.
New stadium: From Adolf Hitler to Arena Zabrze
Nazi references work well in politics, so why not at StadiumDB? Especially when they’re so well deserved. After all, Adolf Hitler was this stadium’s first name-holder!
Poland: Last-minute challenge for Zabrze
Countdown begins, but opening of the newly-renamed Arena Zabrze isn’t certain just yet. 400 workers are on site daily to make sure Poland’s most honoured derby takes place!
Poland: Stadium in Zabrze changes name
Starting next year, the new stadium in Zabrze will be called Arena Zabrze. This simple changed is considered a prelude to the venue’s first naming rights deal.
Poland: Better access to domestic football
President Andrzej Duda signed new legislation regarding stadium safety in Poland. Clubs and league operators are preparing to welcome new fans who may have been discouraged before.
Poland: Torcida in bloom for Górnik Zabrze
After over two years of waiting fanatic supporters of Górnik Zabrze can now see their stadium flourish… with seats. All in the hope of saving Górnik’s license for upcoming season.
Poland: Ekstraklasa season in a nutshell
Hardly the best year in terms of attendance, but Ekstraklasa continues to grow stadium-wise. Thankfully what’s falling most is the number of incidents.
Poland: Fight against time in Zabrze
Last spring it was hoped the new stadium of 14-time champions Górnik Zabrze will be opened by early 2015. Now in 2015, it will be good if one stand gets opened before year ends….
Poland: Clubs withdrawing obligatory fan cards
Legia Warszawa is the largest and latest Polish football club to abandon mandatory use of fan cards among supporters. Cards have proven to be counter-productive and contributed to falling attendances.
Poland: Construction resumes in Zabrze
The city today handed over Stadion Ernesta Pohla’s construction site to new contractors. Work already got under way to deliver the roof within 3 months. More progress is expected soon.
Poland: New stadium in Zabrze delayed further
Three stands for over 24,000 people were supposed to open for fans of Poland’s most successful team in April… last year. But they’re still not ready and the municipality just admitted they have no money to finish works.
Poland: Two projects (re)launched in Łódź and Zabrze
This week brought major developments regarding two new stadiums in Poland. Construction is expected to restart in Zabrze, while contractor should soon be known for Widzew Łódź new ground.
Poland: Zabrze drop contractor, work further delayed
Situation is heating up at the largest ongoing stadium construction in Poland. Three stands to hold over 24,000 people in Zabrze may have even one year more to open as the municipality sacked general contractor over insufficient pace.
Poland: Uncertainty over Zabrze new stadium
It’s exactly 41 days before deadline for delivery of three new stands in Zabrze, accommodating over 24,000 people. But current Ekstraklasa leader Górnik may have to plan opening for late next year, because general contractor is on the brink of insolvency and works aren’t progressing at all.
Poland: Euro 2012 stadiums hardy full
As Polish Ekstraklasa season ended, a sad image of two Euro 2012 stadiums filled in just over 30%, while third one barely made it over 50%. But the situation still seems to be improving overall for Polish football.
Poland: Zabrze stadium delayed once more
First three stands of the new 32,000-seater in Zabrze were to be delivered in just several days. But it's been known for months that it's not possible. Now it gets worse, as even the new September deadline isn't within contractors' reach.
Poland: League authorities officially request better treatment of fans
In a statement published yesterday, Ekstraklasa SA informs it has officially addressed the parliamentary commission to change current legislation. Entering the stadium is more difficult nowadays than getting on an airplane.
Poland: Top clubs support safe standing and legal pyrotechnics
During last meeting of all 16 Ekstraklasa clubs on Monday, officials decided to support safe standing and legal pyrotechnics inside Polish stadiums. This unexpected step comes in response to police offensive after Euro 2012.
Naming rights: One more deal for Allianz?
Insurance giant already bought rights for three stadiums in Germany, France and Australia. Will Poland deliver their fourth arena? Municipality of Zabrze hope so as they negotiate with Allianz, Sport.pl writes.
Poland: Works slowdown in Zabrze raise concerns
Financial difficulties of the general contractor caused delays in Zabrze, where Polimex-Mostostal is building the new 32,000-seater stadium. Investors are very concerned over abilities of the company to finish works in time.