Stadion Gradski vrt
|120 (VIP seats)|
|40 (Press seats)|
|Inauguration||07/09/1958 (NK Proleter - Sloboda Tuzla)|
|Renovations||1977-1980 (new stadium), 1998, 2005, 2010|
|Record attendance||40,000 (NK Osijek - Dinamo Zagreb)|
|Address||Thomasa Woodrowa Wilsona 2, 31000, Osijek, Croatia|
Description: Stadion Gradski vrt
Gradski vrt (literally Municipal Garden) in its current form exists since 1980 but was in fact in operation as early as 1958. That was before NK Osijek even existed, when their protoplasts from NK Proleter were holding games here. Already then the stadium was mixed use, with athletics in mind.
The stands in their current, octagonal shape began growing in 1977 and were first used before official opening, in 1979. Already then, having won a spot in the Yugoslav league, the team was drawing quite big crowds for major games. As was witnessed in 1982, when their play-off against Dinamo Zagreb was watched by as many as 40,000 people (while unofficial sources suggest even 60,000+).
Keep in mind, the largest upper west stand wasn’t even approved for use yet at that point and it was packed either way. This makes it the more impressive and also shows how delayed the stadium construction was. In fact to this day the western concrete pillars haven’t received the roof which was part of the original design.
In 1998 the stadium was converted into an all-seater, seeing capacity fall under 20,000. It also received floodlight that year, allowing nighttime games to be held at Gradski vrt for the first time. In 2005 and 2010 further improvements were made, though were rather cosmetic. In the long run a brand new stadium is the goal.
New design: NK Osijek stops dreaming, starts living
It was an emotional and much welcome presentation, which immediately grabbed headlines of sports media across Croatia. Understandable, after years of stadium impotence, if you pardon the phrase.