As we commemorate the centenary of Poland's independence, here are stadiums 16-18 on our list of 100 from Poland. They're all small but at the same time – quite modern.
#16 | Stadion Ursusa, Warsaw
The Ursus sports complex was built between 1963 and 1965, in the effort to develop sport beside the Ursus factory. Over half of the work worth some PLZ 7.5 million was delivered as community work. Even though the opening commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Ursus sports club, the stadium name initially celebrated the 20th anniversary of Polish People's Republic.
Spread across over 6 hectares, the square area comprised the main stadium (with U-shaped stands), training field, 2 basketball and 2 volleyball courts, 3 tennis courts, a handball field and minor other facilities.
Just like the complex overall, the main stadium suffered from poor maintenance and was severely underinvested for years, during Poland's political transformation. In 1995 the west stand was removed (though the landfill still exists), while the east received just over 1,000 seats.
In 2010 all these seats were replaced to finally match team colours. In 2014 installation of new 6-lane running track followed, while in 2017 partial cover of the east stand was added.
#17 | Stadion B. Bagińskiego, Barlinek
The municipal stadium in Barlinek is one of the most picturesquely-situated sports venues in Poland. It was built in the calm, east part of town and is surrounded by waters of Barlineckie Lake from both the south and north.
The old, initial stadium in this location was built by the initiative of Bronisław Bagiński, local entrepreneur and community leader, chairman of the largest industrial company and president of Pogoń, the football club using the stadium. It's thus no wonder that the venue bears his name even today, being an entirely different venue.
In its current form, the stadium dates back to 2011, when everything left of the old ground was removed, including the field of play. For some PLN 8 million a new multi-use stadium was built with natural turf and 4-lane running track (6-lane straight). It offers 960 seats, of which 60 are dedicated to traveling fans. By 2020 it's expected to receive a modern pavilion with anciliary facilities, as the ones built in 2011 were deemed insufficient for local sport.
#18 | Stadion Wisły, Annopol
For many years the stadium of Wisła Annopol was more a case for shame and concern than local pride. Rapidly dilapidating wooden grandstand for roughly 900 people was eventually replaced as Poland joined the EU and option for external funding became open.
Located east of the town, the area went through thorough redevelopment in 2011-2012, which resulted in a new administrative building, parking and – above all – a new grandstand along the east side. Interestingly, the auditorium is located some 2 meters above field of play, offering all fans a grear overview of the playing area.
The project was divided in two phases, the latter of which included a 350-square-meter canopy above the central section of available seats, protecting roughly 250 people from rain. All of the project was worth over PLN 800,000, of which almost half came from the EU.