Stadion Stali Mielec – until 2010
|Clubs||FKS Stal Mielec|
|Inauguration||11/1953 (Stal Mielec - Garbarnia Kraków, 1-1)|
|Renovations||1972-1976, 1980, 2007|
|Record attendance||40,000 (Stal Mielec - Real Madrid 1-2, 15/09/1976)|
|Address||ul. Solskiego 1, Mielec|
Description: Stadion Stali Mielec
When it was opened in 1953, the stadium had no stands yet. First ones, made from embanked land, were ready in 1954. But it’s the stands built in 1972-1976 that made the stadium famous throughout Poland and beyond, with local team Stal fighting the likes of Real Madrid or Hamburger SV here.
The double-tiered stands of 1970s were among most distinctive in Poland as very few stadiums then had two tiers at all, not mentioning the division of upper sections into separate structures rather than one large terrace. Full glow was reached in 1980, when large floodlight masts were inaugurated. Despite having capacity estimated at 25,000, the stadium as reported to hold crowds of 40,000 on three occasions.
However, with turbulent 1980s and change of regime in Poland, Mielec overall, and Stal as well, started losing significance. The idea of working class club from a modest industrial town that was supported by central authorities a decade before, started fading.
In 1990s Stal, domestic champion not so long ago, was dissolved and rebuilt. This goes to show how drastic changes took place. Just like the club, its stadium was dilapidating and the municipality had no funds to maintain it properly. Renovation works began as late as 2007, but were soon halted as the city decided to rebuild the stadium, downsized significantly. Starting in 2011, all upper sections were demolished and most of the lower tier structure had to be replaced to create a smaller stadium for under 7,000 people.