Generali Arena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the stadium in Prague. For the stadium in Austria of the same name, see Franz Horr Stadium.
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 50°5′59.29″N 14°24′57.28″E / 50.0998028°N 14.4159111°E / 50.0998028; 14.4159111Coordinates: 50°5′59.29″N 14°24′57.28″E / 50.0998028°N 14.4159111°E / 50.0998028; 14.4159111
Opened 1969
Renovated 1994
Owner AC Sparta Praha fotbal, a.s.
Surface Grass
Capacity 19,416
Field size 105×68 m
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 [ˈstadjon ˈlɛtnaː] (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.

History[edit]

The first stadium at its location opened in 1921, in 1930 it hosted the third Women's World Games.

The current stadium was built in 1969 and reconstructed in 1994. The 1994 reconstruction, 25 years after the stadium was first opened, saw Letna closed for nine months as the running track was removed.[1] The playing surface was renovated in 2001, including the installation of a new under-soil heating system and grass from Germany.[2] This necessitated Sparta playing league matches at the end of the 2000–01 season at the nearby Stadion Evžena Rošického.[3]

Letna 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.[1] After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Letna 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 Holland and Norway.[4]

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 Letna against Spartak Moscow. It was, at the time, the biggest fine ever handed out by UEFA to a club for racist chanting.[5]

Name[edit]

Originally known as Letná Stadium (Letenský stadion), the stadium took the name Toyota arena after a sponsorship deal in 2003.[6] Later AXA took over naming rights, in 2007.[7] Since 2009, it is named after its current sponsor, Generali.[8]

Non football activities[edit]

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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bouc, Frantisek (26 April 1995). "Sparta Praha's Stadium Is '12th Man' for Czech Soccer". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Na Letné bude trávník z Německa" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 13 June 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Sparta dohraje závěr ligy na Strahově" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Bouc, Frantisek (9 October 1996). "Czech soccer players make a pitch for World Cup '98". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Bouc, Frantisek (28 November 2001). "Racist fans worry Sparta". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sparta bude mít od léta nový název stadionu" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Stadion Sparty se přejmenuje na AXA Arenu" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Fanoušci Sparty se na fotbal už nemusí dívat přes ploty" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 

External links[edit]