|106 (Disabled seats)|
|1,777 + 358 in 25 boxes (Business seats)|
|481 (Press seats)|
|Other names||Cauldron of Witches (Kocioł Czarownic, nickname)|
|Inauguration||22/07/1956 (Poland - DDR 0-2)|
|Renovations||1994-1997, 2001, 2009-2017|
|Record attendance||120 000 (Górnik Zabrze - Austria Vienna, 18/09/1963)|
|Project||Julian Stefan Brzuchowski (1951), GMP Architekten (2008)|
|Cost||PLN 650 million (2009-2017)|
|Address||ul. Katowicka 10, Chorzów|
Description: Stadion Śląski
Ever since this stadium's idea came to being, everything about it was huge. The plan of building a central stadium for the Upper Silesian conurbation was born ahead of WWII but delivering a copy of Berlin's Olympiastadion was obviously scrapped following 1939. The concept resurfaced in its current form after the war as the stadium was included in Europe's largest municipal park, the Silesian Park.
Designed by Polish architect Julian Brzuchowski, the stadium was to be created within a large sunken bowl. Accommodating both football and athletics, the giant received the height of 80 rows in the west, where stands where higher than on surrounding sides.
West is also where the stadium's most iconic element was planned, a tower rising 10 floors above the auditorium. Just like floodlights, this element wasn't ready upon opening. It's no wonder because, despite huge effort from authorities and the taxpayers, many of whom contributed unpaid labour, the stadium's scale was comparable only to Stadion Dziesięciolecia in Warsaw. Construction began in 1951 and opening took place in 1956, of course on July 22. Poland was beaten by East Germany 0:2 in what proved to be one of over 50 national team's games held in Chorzów.
Floodlights and the tower were ready and operational in late 1950s. But while lighting masts remained until 2009, the tower proved obsolete far sooner. Designed with administrative use in mind, it was impractical and became deserted after a few decades in operation. Despite such state, it was still contemplated to remain part of the stadium when initial 21st century revamp plans were drawn. Eventually, though, it was demolished.
Stadion Śląski, or Silesian Stadium in English, was designed with 87,000 people in mind, making it one of Poland's two giants. In fact, which proved true for both Śląski and Dziesięciolecia, they both received nicknames of “Polish 100,000-stadia”, having seen crowds in excess of 100,000 on several occasions.
Once Poland went through regime changes in 1990s and all-seater stadia became the norm, the Polish FA and public authorities decided to invest in Śląski's renovation as it was the most feasible way of having at least one large venue for football in line with international standards. Between 1995 and 2001 the stadium received a brand new east stand with hotel attached to it, while all of the remaining old bowl was covered with blue seats, reducing capacity to 47,202.
The renovation process was then supposed to move towards covering all spectators with a vast canopy. However, the impressively-shaped Saturn 2005 concept was scrapped once Poland was granted hosting rights for Euro 2012. Decision was made by authorities of Upper Silesia to increase capacity of the stands to some 55,000 by adding a second tier to the west side and then cover the whole stadium.
New design was drawn by GMP Architekten and SBP engineers, specialists in tensile cable structures. But many Poles managed to forget about Euro 2012 before the stadium was delivered. Reconstruction was launched again in 2009 with mid-2011 set as delivery date.
Not only was that deadline passed, in July 2011 first ever accident at a tensile cable roof happened, bringing the project to prolonged standstill. Works restarted as late as 2015 and weren't complete until September 2017. Along with extended time frame, additional costs boosted the budget from PLN 360 million to over 650 million.
Despite all setbacks, the final outcome represents very sensible value (price per seat) for a stadium of such magnitue. Its 50-meter high roof is the largest tensile cable structure in Europe to be covered with polycarbonate (43,000 square meters). With a running track included it became Poland's best venue for large athletic events, potentially including the Olympics, even if that would need additional works. The largest long term issue is avoiding the white elephant effect, though, because the stadium has no football tenant.
Poland: “Cauldron of witches” alive again
After over two decades of gradual reconstruction it's finally ready. And Stadion Śląski drew massive crowds of almost 100,000 people for its reopening community day!
Poland: Ruch to get a larger stadium if council agrees
The turbulent tale of Poland's most decorated club may see a happy end. But not just yet. First, the city council needs to approve on pushing their new stadium forward. Decision will be made on Thursday.
Poland: Symbolic end at Śląski, but construction continues
The 54,000-seat giant in Chorzów is theoretically ready for use, if you believe the fire department and construction suprvisors. But in reality work goes on. And on. And on.
Poland: Śląski slowly rising to glory (?) again
After years of delay it finally looks almost complete. In just over a month the Silesian giant in Chorzów will be delivered, ending the 8-year torment of reconsturction.
Poland: Six shades of blue in Chorzów
Installation of seats marks one of the last major steps before Poland’s 2nd largest stadium is reopened. But the future seems blue just like its seats…
Poland: Stadion Śląski to have LED cladding
The 54,000-capacity stadium in Upper Silesia is expected to be enveloped with LED lighting. This way it may generate additional revenue and… avoid higher taxation.
Poland: Śląski a strong candidate for white elephant?
It may be Poland’s most historic large stadium, but Stadion Śląski is about to face major challenges when it reopens next year. Sports marketing expert suggest the risk of it becoming a white elephant is high.
Poland: Śląski more expensive, but on time
Poland’s longest ongoing stadium project will cost no less than PLN 650 million, almost doubling the original planned budget. At least the deadline of July 2017 seems to be safe.
Poland: Chorzów may have the biggest and… most mutilated stadium
Regional authorities in Chorzów are considering further expanding Stadion Śląski to make it Poland’s largest and maybe even hold a Champions League final. But for now it’s painful to look at after prison fence surrounded it.
Poland: Plans to reduce future losses in Chorzów
The 55,000-capacity Stadion Śląski is likely to generate up to $3 million loss annually after it reopens in 2017. With new measures the loss might be reduced by 40% or more. But at a price.
Poland: Unlucky roof delivered safely
After disastrous burst in 2011, finally the new cable roof of Stadion Śląski is hanging in place. Some works are still left on what’s Europe’s largest roof of its kind.
Poland: What future awaits the unwanted giant?
Stadion Śląski has the misfortune of being in progress for years, falling behind an entire wave of new Polish stadia. Now the big question is: what to do with it when it finally opens…
Poland: Delayed giant possibly set back again
As if Stadion Śląski wasn’t flooded with issues already, it turns out reopening in early 2017 may be impossible. For a project launched back in 1995 this seems like too much.
Poland: Chorzów giant finally back on track
Looking at the progress at Stadion Śląski one may breath with relief that the “Cauldron of witches” is finally getting closer to reopening. Roof structure is hovering over nearly all stands.
Poland: Big lift ends successfully in Chorzów
After four years of delays and preparations, the last two weeks brought a major milestone at Stadion Śląski. The 55,200-capacity stadium is on its way for delivery, but not quite yet.
Poland: Crucial lift begins at the Chorzów giant
Last time it ended in disaster. Now contractors and taxpayers cross their fingers for everything to go smoothly. Stadion Śląski is getting its roof lifted.
Poland: Big lift in Chorzów to begin again soon
Work is in full swing – that’s one thing we weren’t able to say about Stadion Śląski for a long time. The 55,000-capacity giant is again a construction site after nearly 4 years of deadlock.
Poland: Chorzów stadium back on agenda
Local elections and pressure of supporters brought a major change for Chorzów. This Polish city returns to the idea of building a modern football stadium after a year of setback.
Poland: Contract for Stadion Śląski signed
One of Europe’s largest unfinished stadiums will finally see works restart next week. The Silesian Voivodeship contracted German company Pfeifer for the job.
Poland: New tender to finish abandoned giant in Chorzów
The construction site of 55,000-capacity stadium in southern Poland has been abandoned since June 2013. Recent weeks saw previous contractors negotiate terms of finishing the halted work. As talks fell through, new tender will be announced soon.