Zagłębie fans waited for this day for more than 3 years. On 25 February, the first match was played in the brand new stadium which is part of Zagłębie Sports Park complex. Their eternal rivals from across the Brynica River, GKS Katowice, came to Sosnowiec for the inauguration. A sold-out crowd attended the game.
ArcelorMittal Park inaugurated
On February 18, Zagłębie's last meeting in the club's distinguished Stadion Ludowy took place. Unfortunately, the team from Sosnowiec did not bid a dignified farewell to their long-standing home, losing 0:2 to Odra Opole. That defeat should have been forgotten as soon as possible, because it was time for a new opening for the club. On February 25, GKS Katowice came to the largest city of Dąbrowa Basin to officially inaugurate the new stadium, part of the Zagłębie Sports Park (Zagłębiowski Park Sportowy), which is called ArcelorMittal Park thanks to a sponsorship deal.
Fans of the hosts and friendly clubs turned out in large numbers at the facility, despite the rainy weather. The fully roofed stands certainly made watching the match much more comfortable than if the meeting had been held in the old Zagłębie stadium. The 11,600-seat auditorium was full. Unfortunately, the football festivities were spoiled a little by the lack of guest supporters, for whom 802 seats were waiting in the visitors' section, which was eventually occupied by home fans. The organisers decided not to allow GKS fans into the arena. The reason for this was the renovation of Zaruskiego Street leading to ArcelorMittal Park. The closed road did not guarantee safety for the fans.
Victory at the opening
Before the start of the match, the official part took place, with speeches by, among others, the president of the Polish Football Association, Cezary Kulesza, and the mayor of Sosnowiec, Arkadiusz Chęciński. There was also a light show combined with musical illustration. The meeting started at 5:30 PM and the fans were able to celebrate the first goal for Zagłębie in their new home already in the 7th minute. The author of the historic hit was Meik Karwot. The second goal for the hosts was scored in the 55th minute by Adrian Troć. A consolation goal for GKS from a penalty kick in added time was scored by Arkadiusz Jędrych. So the inauguration was also successful in sporting terms. With a meeting in the new stadium, Zagłębie broke a series of seven matches without a win in the 1. Liga (2nd division).
Construction of the stadium, which cost PLN 147.9 million, began in 2019. Before the football arena was commissioned, the sports hall, which is part of the complex, was inaugurated, where a basketball match between Poland and Austria was played on February 23 as part of the EuroBasket preliminaries (87-72). The meeting was a farewell to the Polish fans of the Polish basketball legend, Łukasz Koszarek. It is not yet known when the third facility of ArcelorMittal Park, the indoor ice rink, will be opened.
The venues of the complex are adapted for the organisation of high-level sporting events in many disciplines; they are also intended to be used for training purposes and by local residents for amateur sporting activities. The park also makes it possible to hold a variety of cultural, commercial, and outdoor events.