Ratina stadion (Tampereen stadion)
|3,533 (Covered seats)
|20 (VIP seats)
|105 (Press seats)
|24,873 (Ilves - Juventus, 19/09/1984)
|Ratinan rantatie 1, 33100 Tampere, Finland
Ratina stadion – stadium description
The vision of building a new stadium in the Ratina district dates back to 1930s, though it wasn't put into local planning at that time. Until 1936 only an ice rink was delivered, though room for a stadium remained. The plan resurfaced when Finland won the hosting rights to the 1952 Olympics and a playing field was sown already in 1949.
However, the stadium prepared for 1952 was largely temporary, not the one we know today. This one was designed by renowned modernist architect Timo Penttilä in 1963 and delivered by 1966. Created almost entirely with reinforced concrete (including the floodlight masts and main stand's roof), it still stands as a great example of architecture of its time. Even if the original auditorium was largely hidden below ground level, the distinctive straight masts made it stand out.
In 2004-05 the stadium saw conversion into all-seater, which would have meant drastic reduction in capacity. It was therefore decided that the lower stands would be extended above ground level in order to increase the number of seats. The phased development led to nearly 17,000 individual seats being fitted into the stadium.
Not only due to its architecture but also history the stadium is among Finland's most important sports venues. Not only did it host the 1952 Olympics (commemorated by the Olympic torch on the west end) but also numerous memorable fixtures of local teams United and Ilves, with the latter having set a record for football crowd against Juventus in 1984.
While the running track made it unpopular for football overall, the stadium was able to host major domestic and international athletics events. On top of that, it played host to some of the greatest concerts across Finland, the biggest of which drew 30,000 or even more people.
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