|50,653 (International capacity)|
|Other names||Swedbank Arena (2009-2012)|
|Opening game||14/11/2012 (Sweden - England, 4-2)|
|Construction||07/12/2009 - 10/2012|
|Cost||SEK 2.8 billion|
|Design||Berg | C. F. Møller Architects, Arkitekterna Krook&Tjäder, Populous (cooperation)|
Description: Friends Arena
Plans for a new stadium appeared in 2004 when it was obvious that Råsunda would only get more outdated with passing time. Construction nearby was possible when masterplan for new centre of Solna was drawn. Design work was carried out by Berg Arkitektkontor, which later merged with C.F. Møller, and Arkitekterna Krook&Tjadär (global giant Populous also played a role). The task was a real challenge: to create one of the most multifunctional venues worldwide, capable of holding any event.
Back in 2009 the stadium’s budget was estimated at SEK 2.3 billion, later proved lower at 1.9 billion, but eventually elevated to 2.8 billion. For this price Solna received a 51,000-seat stadium with three tiers for audience, retractable roof, one demountable stand and first ever air conditioning system.
Local football team AIK was given special attention as the anchor tenant. For domestic games with lower attendances the highest tier may be completely hidden behind curtains, allowing to avoid the feeling of too big stadium. Lowest tier on the north side was converted to terracing to meet fans demands, increasing capacity for domestic ties to over 54,000 and decreasing it back to 51,000 when all-seater mode applies.
Those are just some of the solutions implemented as months before opening the operator already had contracts for various football games, hockey matches, speedway grand prix, several giant concerts and a horse show.
Opening took place on October 27 2012 with a special ceremony. First game was a friendly between Sweden and England. It wasn’t only a chance to beat the English, it was also a symbolic connection to the old Råsunda which was also opened with this fixture in 1937.
Naming rights deal had been secured by Swedbank in 2009, but name changed in 2012 when the bank decided to promote its social awareness campaign, dropping Swedbank Arena for Friends Arena. The contract lasts until 2023.
Sweden: Police brutality is no foul play?
Football safety is usually associated with hooliganism. But what happens when the supporter does nothing criminal and yet gets beaten up? In Sweden – nothing. As if it was part of the matchday experience.
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As night falls, numerous landmarks across the globe set their illumination to blue, white and red. Here are the sports venues among them.
Euro Qualifiers: England, Poland and Germany on top
Perhaps surprisingly, the three most-supported national teams during Euro 2016 qualifiers were England, Poland and Germany. In that order! Italy and Spain left well behind, while Austria strived.
10+ Ranking 2015: Attendances in Europe (Part 2. The Clubs)
Borussia, Barca and Man United – lovely dominant trio. But it wasn’t them who gained most fans last season. Check all 217 clubs that draw an average crowd of 10,000+!
UEFA: 2017 finals awarded, Cardiff gets CL
UEFA needs to work on their secrecy as for the third consecutive time Champions League final host venue was leaked well before announcement. Europa League goes to Solna and Super Cup to Skopje.
Russia 2018: „Our stadiums aren’t more expensive”. But they are…
General director of Sports In, company running 7 projects for the 2018 World Cup, argues Russian stadia aren’t more expensive than in other countries. But he presented the public with manipulated data to make his case.
Pyrotechnics: Sweden for and against legalisation
If you look at the media discourse, pyrotechnics inside stadiums are a major threat. But if you look at how fans and authorities discuss the issue, legalization may be closer than ever, according to Sydsvenskan.
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It seems Wembley may prepare the champagne for next Friday. Russia and Israel are in a disturbing political situation, while Macedonia, Bulgaria and Belarus are the underdogs unlikely to get a piece of Euro 2020.
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Despite over 30 countries expressing interest initially, the final bidding list is short and will see only 6 bids rejected. Which will it be? Here are all stadiums submitted as candidates.
Pyrotechnics: How will the Swedish debate end?
It's almost a year since Sweden saw its major conference devoted to pyrotechnics at sports games. The debate goes on and seems to be closing to a final. Would this mean legalisation? It's not ruled out for sure.
Stockholm: Friends Arena below expectations, huge loss in first year
It’s not even in operation for a full year yet, but already now the deficit for 2013 is expected to be at over $30 million. Almost all shareholders announce or consider selling their shares, some already doing it. What’s the future for Sweden’s new national stadium?
Euro 2020: All you need to know about interested countries
Or, in other words, all we were able to find digging a lot deeper than just the brief info released by UEFA. It took us a while, but this is – according to our knowledge – the most comprehensive analysis of Euro 2020 potential bids.
Pyrotechnics: Swedish police to test flares
As part of building a nationwide strategy for sports events safety, members of the national police are to test various kinds of pyrotechnics at Friends Arena tomorrow. The aim is to establish whether there is a threat for spectators and legalisation of some materials is possible.
Sweden: Fanatics 'tested' Friends Arena
Flares were lit before the first game even began, but all of yesterday's events were carried out without major problems. Unfortunately some seats were broken by fans frustrated by their standing section not being prepared.
St Patrick's: Stadia among buildings turning green
Over 70 buildings are officially listed by Tourism Ireland and expected to have green illumination tonight, celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Three major stadiums are on that list.
Stadium of the Year Nominee: Friends Arena
If a sports arena is suitable for almost any kind of event, can it retain a true football ambiance? Upcoming years should give us an answer in Sweden and things surely look interestingly...
Sweden: Pyrotechnics may soon be legal?
Under what conditions, which materials? That’s unclear until late March, but national coordinator for sports-related violence says he can see support for a solution to be found. Fotbollskanalen.se report.
Stadium of the Year 2012: Let the voting begin!
As announced before, starting today you have one month to select your favorite stadium opened in 2012. We have 16 nominees and quite a lot to choose from – retractable roofs, pitches, stands. And each stadium glows in the dark (imagine that!).