Norway: Express expansion behind the Arctic Circle

source:; author: Robert Saganowski

Norway: Express expansion behind the Arctic Circle The increasingly better sports level had to translate into infrastructural development. In Bodø, Norway, fans can celebrate doubly. Not only did the local team qualify for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Conference League, but just before the league's inauguration a new grandstand was completed.


The Norwegian Eliteserien kicked off on Saturday, April 2, but the most anticipated match of the first gameweek was left for fans to enjoy at the very end. The national champion, Bodø/Glimt, took on the former dominator, Rosenborg, at home. The game ended with a 2:2 draw, but from our point of view, it is not the result itself that is most important here.

Aspmyra Stadion© Morten F (cc: by-nc-sa)

Just a few days before the opening game of the season in Norawy, a new but temporary stand along the sidelines was commissioned at Aspmyra Stadion. The number of seats at the venue has thus increased from the previous 6,350 to 8,215. This solution is expected to last for several years before a new, fully roofed stadium is built.

The extension was necessary in order to adapt to the latest UEFA requirements. In fact, the European football federation demands that every stadium of a club playing in the group stage (regardless of whether it is the Champions League or the Conference League) must have at least 8,000 seats.

Aspmyra Stadion© Avisa Nordland

Interestingly, the construction started...  just 1.5 months ago! In just 6 weeks it was possible to "extend" the main stand, i.e. add rows of seats in front of it, so that they are located as close as possible to the pitch. Thanks to the quick extension, fans from behind the Arctic Circle no longer have to worry whether their team will receive the green light from UEFA.

A little earlier, Bodø/Glimt had been granted special permission to play with fewer seats, but the prerequisite for keeping the licence was an assurance that the stadium capacity would be increased as soon as possible. If the club failed to meet the requirements, it would most likely have to play European football next season.... in Oslo, 1,200 km away.

Aspmyra Stadion© Morten F (cc: by-nc-sa)

Bodø/Glimt appeared in the European cups in the 2020/21 season after a 16-year break and made a memorable appearance for fans, especially those from Italy. The match against Milan at San Siro allowed Glimt's best player Jens Petter Hauge to be sold to the Italian giants, which gave the club from Northern Europe a solid cash injection. Thanks to Bodø/Glimt's great performance in the 2020 season, a new stand at the western end of the pitch, capable of accommodating 660 spectators, was already ready before the match against Legia Warsaw in August 2021.

Before Norway's first ever championship (2020), Aspmyra Stadion had just around 5,500 seats. Thanks to two rapid renovations in the last 2 years, the arena has not only overtaken local rival Tromsø and its Alfheim Stadion in terms of seating capacity, but as of early April 2022 has become UEFA's highest category IV venue.

Aspmyra Stadion© Morten F (cc: by-nc-sa)

Sunday's game against Rosenborg was attended by around 6,500 spectators, but the real challenge awaits the fans of the "Yellow and Black" in just a few days. Fate had it that AS Roma comes to Bodø for the second time this season. The result of the first clash at Aspmyra Stadion? 6:1 for the hosts.

Will the champions of Norway cause a sensation again and send away Jose Mourinho's team? Anything can happen, but one thing is for sure - the match will certainly be watched by more fans than the previous match between the two teams in October 2021.