Stadion Miejski Widzewa Łódź
|907 (Away section)|
|Clubs||Stowarzyszenie RTS Widzew Łódź|
|Inauguration||18/03/2017 (Widzew Łódź - Motor Lubawa, 2-0)|
|Construction||26/01/2015 - 03/02/2017|
|Cost||PLN 138 million|
|Design||Pracownia Architektoniczna Ferdzynowie|
|Address||Piłsudskiego 138, 92-300 Łódź, Poland|
Stadion Widzewa – stadium description
There were more plans for a new Widzew stadium than we could count. First ones surfaced as early as 1940s, then 1970s. But instead of moving, the old one was remodeled. Then ideas for relocation returned in 1980s and 1990s. By early 2000s it became clear the club was unlikely to move, so instead visions of a brand new stadium were drawn. First one for 19,100 people (2008), then a much more ambitious one for over 33,000 in 2010. The latter one was subject to negotiations, but no private partner opted to take part without large annual subsidies from the city of Łódź.
Finally, in 2013 work to create the current stadium began, this time much more rational in terms of scale and budget. Entirely funded by the city, the stadium’s cost was capped at PLN 150 million (half of the 2010 estimate), envisaging three stands with option to deliver fourth one and increase capacity to 18,000. The tender was launched in design+build formula and delivered such positive results that it was decided to deliver all four stands at once, still ending with a PLN 138 million budget.
The joint venture of Mosty Łódź (contractor) and PA Ferdzynowie (architects) delivered a very robust project within the low price and in a timely fashion, not exactly a regular occurrence in Poland. The last game of the old ground was played in November of 2014 and by January construction could begin on the cleared site. From excavation to installation of the last elements it was supposed to last 22 months, ended with a slight delay in February 2017.
Despite its low budget the stadium represents fine quality, meeting UEFA Category 3 and with option of future upgrade to Category 4. Simple, largely prefabricated structure is decorated by brickwork-imitating cladding in the west, which is said to be a tribute to Łódź’s brick architecture. The west stand’s floor space is significantly larger than on all remaining sides of the stadium. It hosts not only the sporting, media and corporate facilities (including 24 boxes), but also office space used partly by Widzew, all spread across 4 levels.
Remaining stands have no more than 2 levels under the single-tiered seating bowl. One of these offers catering and toilets to matchday guests, while the ground level is partly hoped to attract commercial outlets that would operate on a daily basis. The stadium has no external fencing, which is rare in Poland and makes it the more attractive for daily use. That said, all three stands apart from the west one have a rough appearance with concrete and steel being barely hidden by metallic mesh.
The continuous seating ring offers just over 18,000 seats, over 900 of them in the away section. Interestingly, part of the north end is tubular to allow for fast dismantling and creation of a concert stage. This way no concert would lead to serious damage of the field. All of the stadium is covered by simple but efficient roof with 2,000 m2 of polycarbonate cladding to allow proper sunlight access.
The stadium made history already before opening. It’s the first newly built venue in Poland to have season tickets sold out. 15,310 people bought their 2016/17 entry cards (best result in the country despite other having many more seats to sell) and it would have been even more if not for the cap on sale. It’s even more impressive when taking into account that Widzew achieved this as a 4th league club.
UEFA: Neutral stadiums in four countries submitted for UCL and UEL
Should travel or local restrictions prevent a club from hosting its European trophy fixture at home, a neutral venue would be selected in one of four countries: Cyprus, Greece, Hungary or Poland.
Poland: Widzew aiming at 22,000-23,000
With record-setting crowds, the third-league club are hopeful that their stadium could be expanded sooner than later. First an addition of 500 seats is planned, later up to 4,500.
Poland: Widzew fans install kneeler at new stadium
It would have been just another record-breaking season ticket campaign for Widzew Łódź supporters. But thanks to a simple idea by fans association it became a viral story that brings a smile to people's faces.
2019 FIFA U20 World Cup: Not that big of a tournament
We were nearly sure 400,000 tickets would be sold for 52 games of Poland's U20 World Cup and yet the final number fell significantly short. On average stadium occupancy reached just 44%.
2019 FIFA U20 World Cup: Let the games begin!
First four games of the U20 World Cup are to take place tonight. So far only a fifth of all matches are sold out as tournament hosts Poles are encouraged to buy tickets.
U20 World Cup: No tickets over €10
As distribution is about to commence, the U20 World Cup ticket prices have been revealed. Ranging between €2.3 and €9.3, fees for watching some of the world's biggest football talents suggest we're in for packed stadiums.
Poland: Widzew working on stadium expansion
In an extraordinary case of fan devotion, Widzew Łódź need expansion of their brand new stadium already. Several thousand seats are to be added and we should know the details next year, when the club will celebrate 110 years in operation.
Poland: Widzew breaks one more season ticket record
Despite playing in the 4th division they're relentless! They continue to buy more season tickets than any other team in Poland and any other on the 4th level in Europe. Now almost at 16,000!
Stadium of the Year 2017: Let the vote begin!
27 stadiums from 19 countries begin the fight to become Stadium of the Year 2017. It's up to you which one will grab the title as we invite you to take part in the 8th Public Vote, the largest competition of its kind worldwide!