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The home of Swedish football – it’s a pumped up Ajax Arena?

November 18, 2012
A cramed pack opening at the new home of Swedish football - The Friends Arena, Football Stadium, Stockholm - Chris Marsden

Chris Marsden’s stadium review on the new home of Sweden national football – the Friends Arena.

The first thing I thought when I heard that Sweden was to host England as their inarguable match to open their new state of the art stadium was – why England? Surely Spain, being World and European Champions, then why not Brazil and what about a neighbouring Scandinavia country; it does not make sense?

Located in the Solna region of Stockholm the new 50’100 all seated home of the Swedish national football team now rests. Sponsored by Swedbank (until 2013), the multipurpose venue modelled heavily on the Amsterdam arena with a blend of the Allianaz Arena (Munich) in terms a of a light weight lattice style shell that can change colour to reflect those of that perform their consists of 20’000 seats on the lower tier, 10’000 on the middle tier and a further 20’000 on the upper tier. The three tiered stadiums capacity can be further increased to 65’000 for concerts. Construction on Sweden’s own super stadium commenced in December 2009 to a cost of 300 million Euros which every local I spoke with moaned about being too expensive, (they should see the bill for the new Wembley stadium) was open by a concert consisting of a brace of Sweden’s very own premium artists.

The lattice constructed shell is reminiscent of the Allianz Arena in Munich and like the home of Bayern Munich the colour of the stadium can be changed to reflect those that perform their.

Welcome to the Friends Arena, Stockholm, Football Stadium - Chris Marsden

Welcome to the Friends Arena, Stockholm, Football Stadium – Chris Marsden

The origins of the name stems from the initial stadium name Swedbank Arena which was subsequently change to promote a not for profit organisation that campaigns against bullying. The non smoking and alcohol free stadium has four giant screens situated above the pitch and boasts 724 toilets in conjunction its own wifi network and plenty of fast food outlets around the concourse of the stadium which is the entry level to the ground.

The multipurpose venue houses four huge screens suspended above the pitch, a roof that can be closed given two hours notice and within 20 minute if it’s raining (unlike the one in Warsaw, Poland).

The Friends arena is the new home to the Swedish national football team relieving the old Rasunda stadium of the duty prior to it being demolished. From 2013 it will also be the new home to Stockholm based football team AIK. Hopefully the transportation to and from the ground will then be sorted as the mission for both sets of supported was all pretty stupid for the opening of a new national stadium. Those like me ended up walking a further 5 miles or so to Solna Centrum station. As a result signage needs to be drastically improved and throughout my walk I did not come across a designated car park in the heavily residential region of the capital.

So back to my first thoughts – only the English would travel to the opening of a new stadium. Premier and English football is celebrated in Scandinavia unlike other European leagues. Ireland by far the most extravagant national followers would have lead to a pointless and purely ceremonial match which did little to test and prepare either nation in the run up to the world cup in Brazil. In essence England was a safe bet.

Inside the Friends Arena Football Stadium - Chris Marsden

Inside the Friends Arena Football Stadium – Chris Marsden

Chrismarsdenonlne the home of Chris Marsden who has specific interest in football stadiums, football stadia, and mens fashion brands.

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