|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
|Full name||Stadion Maksimir|
|Opened||5 May 1912|
|Owner||City of Zagreb|
|Record attendance||64,138 (NK Zagreb-NK Osijek, 19 July 1973)|
|Field dimensions||105 x 68 m|
Dinamo Zagreb (1949–present)
Croatia national football team (1990–present)
Maksimir Stadium (Croatian: Stadion Maksimir) is a stadium in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. It takes its name from the neighbourhood of Maksimir. It is primarily the home of Dinamo Zagreb, the top football team in the country. It is also home to Dinamo Zagreb's farm team NK Lokomotiva. First opened in 1912, it has undergone many facelifts, and its current layout dates from a 1997 rebuilding. Many of the Croatian national football team's games are played at Maksimir, which competes with Poljud stadium for the biggest matches. The stadium also sometimes hosts rock concerts.
The stadium was first opened May 5, 1912.
On 26 May 1941, a representative of the fascist government of the Independent State of Croatia addressed young Zagreb students at their meeting at the Maksimir Stadium, and at one point ordered the Serbian and Jewish students to be segregated, but the children disobeyed. Soon afterwards, in June 1941, rebel youths burned the stadium down. In 1977, a movie Operation Stadium was made to commemorate the segregation incident.
Maksimir was the central venue for the 1987 Summer Universiade hosted by the city of Zagreb.
In 1990, several events happened at Maksimir. On 13 May, the Dinamo Zagreb–Red Star Belgrade riot took place, an infamous riot involving Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade supporters. The last match of the Yugoslavia national football team was hosted at Maksimir on 3 June. On 17 October of the same year, Croatia played the United States in what was Croatia's first match in the modern era.
In 1998, plans were made for a massive renovation process, and the first phase started the same year, when the old northern stand was demolished and a new one arisen within a year. This renovation increased Maksimir's seating capacity to 38,079.
After 1992, for 16 years the Croatian football team had a proud unbeaten record at this stadium in any competitive match, however on 10 September 2008 (two years after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the same venue) England became the first team to beat Croatia in Zagreb, winning 4-1, ending a thirty match undefeated streak.
In the summer of 2011, a little, but much needed "facelifting" was made on the stadium. All seats were replaced, a new drainage system, under-soil heating and automatic watering were installed along with a new turf, the athletic track was covered with blue artificial grass and all brick surfaces were covered in blue cloth.
The stadium has also been used as the venue for some big concerts, including:
- On 12 July 1983, Dire Straits held a concert to promote their fourth studio album Love Over Gold as a part of band's Alchemy Live Tour (1983).
- On 5 September 1990, David Bowie performed a sold out concert as a part of his Sound+Vision Tour (1990).
- In 2000, Zlatan Stipišić Gibonni performed a concert in front of 32 000 people, promoting his album Judi, zviri i beštimje (2000).
- On 22 June 2005, Bijelo Dugme performed a reunion concert for a crowd of 70 000 people on their Tour 2005. (2005).
- On 17 June 2007, Marko Perković Thompson performed a concert for a crowd of 70 000 people as a part of his Bilo jednom u Hrvatskoj Tour (2007).
- On 9 and 10 August 2009, U2 performed two sold out concerts for over 124 102 people as a part of their U2 360° Tour (2009-2011).
- On 8 June 2011, Bon Jovi performed a concert as a part of their Bon Jovi Live Tour, which supports the band's sixth compilation album, The Greatest Hits. (2011).
- On 11 June 2012, Madonna was scheduled to perform a concert as a part of her MDNA Tour, but the concert was cancelled due to logistic reasons.
- On 13 August 2013, Robbie Williams performed a concert in front of 45 000 people, featuring Olly Murs as his opening act, as a part of Take the Crown Stadium Tour (2013).
According to the 1998 plans, renovation was to include lowering the lawn and making the "ring" round the pitch in the place of running track and thus gain 16,000 new seats with the annex to he south stand with the final addition of a modern roof structure. Maksimir was to have 60,000 comfortable sitting places and was to be an exclusively football stadium like many others in Europe. It has additionally been planned to build: new premises for Club's Management, Elegant "Blue Lounge", Big "Trophy room", football school premises, changing room, coach staff room, sports hall with gym, out patient clinic, restaurant, luxury hotel ("A" category) with 46 beds for visiting teams special importance will be given to the building which will connect west stand to the north stand. By this, all the conditions for hosting and organizing big European matches would be fulfilled, including UEFA offices, press club, press center, V.I.P. hospitality, etc. With that, the venue was to be one of the best equipped stadiums in Europe
However, in the beginning of the 2000s, the renovations were suspended. As of December 2007, the public was awaiting the presentation of new stadium, and in 2008 city government presented two potential stadiums, new Maksimir and Vulkan (Volcano) which is supposed to be built on the another location (Kajzerica) in Zagreb and old Maksimir should then be knocked down, the citizens were to choose which one they want on the referendum predicted to take place somewhere in the near future. However, the city government never made any progress with referendum or these plans and the stadium remains to be a problem to the city for a decade now.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maksimir Stadium.|
- Zuroff, Efraim (2007-06-25). "Ustasa rock n' roll". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Svjetlana Zorić (2010-05-12). "Otkrivanje nepoznatog Zagreba". E-novine (in Croatian). Retrieved 2012-04-24.