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Generali Arena

GENERALI Arena
Generali Arena during an AC Sparta Game
Former names Letná Stadium (1917-2003)
Toyota arena (2003-2007)
AXA Arena (2007-2009)
Location Milady Horákové 1066/98
Prague
Czech Republic
Coordinates
Owner AC Sparta Praha fotbal, a.s.
Capacity 19,416
Field size 105×68 m
Surface Grass
Construction
Opened 1921
Renovated 1937, 1969, 1994
Tenants
Czech Republic national football team
Sparta Prague
Interior of the Generali Arena at the start of a game, Nov 2002

The Generali Arena (previously, and still commonly known as Stadion Letná (English: Letná Stadium)) is a football stadium in Prague. It is the home venue of Sparta Prague and often the home stadium of the Czech Republic national football team. It has capacity for 19,416 people.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Development of the name 2
  • Non football activities 3
  • Transport 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History

The first wooden stadium at its location opened in 1921, in 1930 it hosted the third Women's World Games. The stadium burned in 1934 and a new main reinforced concrete grandstand was built in 1937. In 1969 all other grandstands were replaced by a reinforced concrete ones and capacity was extended to 35,880 spectators. The 1994 reconstruction into its present form saw Letná closed for nine months, the stadium meets all international standards, the running track was removed and all spectator places are now for sitting.[1][2]

Letná has frequently hosted international matches, in October 1989 the venue saw a crowd of 34,000 watch home side Czechoslovakia defeat Switzerland in a qualifying match for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.[2] After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Letná continued as an international stadium, hosting matches of the Czech Republic national football team from 1995, including qualification matches for UEFA Euro 1996, in which the Czechs defeated the Netherlands and Norway.[3]

The playing surface was renovated in 2001, including the installation of a new under-soil heating and watering system and grass from Germany.[4] This necessitated Sparta playing league matches at the end of the 2000–01 season at the nearby Stadion Evžena Rošického.[5]

Sparta was hit by a 55,000 CHF fine from European football governing body UEFA in 2001 following racist slurs from the crowd targeted at black Brazilian Luis Robson in a UEFA Champions League match at Letná against Spartak Moscow. It was, at the time, the biggest fine ever handed out by UEFA to a club for racist chanting.[6]

Development of the name

  • 1917-2003: Letná Stadium
  • 2003-2007: Toyota Arena
  • 2007-2009: AXA Arena
  • 2009–present: Generali Arena

Non football activities

Since the beginning the stadium has been used as a tribune for events that took place in/around the Milada Horaková street and the large "Letenská pláň" behind it. During the Velvet revolution in 1989 there were some 800,000 people assembled here for various anti-government demonstrations.

Transport

The stadium is served by the tram stop Sparta, called at by services 1, 8, 12, 25 and 26. The nearest metro stations are Hradčanská to the west and Vltavská to the east.

References

  1. ^ "Historie stadionů Sparty Praha na místě stávajícího stadionu". sparta.cz. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Bouc, Frantisek (26 April 1995). "Sparta Praha's Stadium Is '12th Man' for Czech Soccer". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Bouc, Frantisek (9 October 1996). "Czech soccer players make a pitch for World Cup '98". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Na Letné bude trávník z Německa" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 13 June 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sparta dohraje závěr ligy na Strahově" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Bouc, Frantisek (28 November 2001). "Racist fans worry Sparta". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 

External links

  • Generali Arena at the official AC Sparta Prague website (Czech)
  • Photo gallery and data at Erlebnis-stadion.de
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