PGE Arena Gdańsk

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PGE Arena Gdańsk
PGE Arena.jpeg
Full name PGE Arena Gdańsk
Former names Baltic Arena
Location ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk 1, 80-560 Gdańsk, Poland
Coordinates 54°23′24″N 18°38′25″E / 54.39000°N 18.64028°E / 54.39000; 18.64028Coordinates: 54°23′24″N 18°38′25″E / 54.39000°N 18.64028°E / 54.39000; 18.64028
Broke ground 2008
Built 2008 - 2011
Opened 14 August 2011
Owner City of Gdańsk
Operator Arena Gdańsk Operator Sp. z o.o.
Surface Field (Grass)
Construction cost PLN zł 775 million
EUR € 185 million
Architect RKW Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky
Project manager Krzysztof Czarnecki
Structural engineer Bollinger+Grohmann
Capacity 43,615
Record attendance 39,460 (Poland - Uruguay, 14 November 2012)
Field size 105 × 68 metres
Website Official Website
Tenants
Euro 2012
Lechia Gdańsk

The PGE Arena Gdańsk (Polish pronunciation: [ˌpɛ.ɡʲɛ.ˈʔɛ a.ˈrɛ.na ˈɡdaɲsk]), previously called the Baltic Arena, is a football stadium in Gdańsk, Poland. It is used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Lechia Gdańsk currently playing in the Ekstraklasa. The Stadium is located on ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk ("Generations of Lechia Gdańsk street") in the northern part of the city (Letnica district).[1] The capacity of the stands is 43,615 spectators, all seated and roofed. PGE Arena Gdańsk is the largest arena in Ekstraklasa and the third largest in the country (after National Stadium and Silesia Stadium).

Construction of the stadium started in 2008 and was completed mid-2011.[2] The opening match was between Lechia Gdańsk and Cracovia and ended with 1–1 draw.[3] The first international match, Poland - Germany, took place on 6 September 2011 and ended 2-2. The match was relocated from Warsaw because the National Stadium was not ready. PGE Arena is used by Lechia Gdańsk since 'the White-and-Green' relocated there from MOSiR Stadium.

The stadium was also one of the designated venues for the finals of Euro 2012. It hosted four matches during the tournament. Three matches in Group C and one quarterfinal were played there.[4]

Since 2010 the official name of the stadium is PGE Arena Gdańsk on the basis of a sponsorship agreement with Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE Group).[5]

Stadium characteristics[edit]

Overall[edit]

This stadium is a football-specific stadium, which means that the turf is not ejected or changeable. For that reason it also lacks an athletics track (running). The stadium is 236 meters long, 203 meters wide and 45 meters high.

Main stand before inaugural match

PGE Area’s exterior is designed to resemble amber which has long been extracted on the Baltic coast. Whole roof construction is based on 82 girders. Roof structure has a total area of 44 000 m². The facade and the roof are covered with 18 000 plates of polycarbonate multiwall sheet, in 6 shades, with a total area of 4.5 hectares. Two logos (placed on the western and eastern side of the stadium), are made in LED technology, with a height of 8 meters and length of 35 meters.[6]

Main entrance

The pitch has dimensions of 105x68 meters, and its distance from the grandstand is 10.5 m behind the goals, and 8.5 m from the side lines.[7] PGE Arena grandstands under the standards of FIFA and UEFA are covered, the center which is hovering over the field however will be uncovered. The issue of installing a sliding roof was considered, but the idea was abandoned due to costs and limited time to complete the construction. Remaining space is reserved for the other participants of the event (staff, etc.). The stadium meets the criteria for UEFA Category 4.

Capacity[edit]

Stadium capacity is 43,615 seats during league matches. However the total number of seats (gross) is approximately 44,000. During the UEFA European Football Championship in 2012 capacity was reduced to approximately 40 000 seats.[8]

At the stadium there are 40 boxes behind glass where full catering is provided (so-called sky-boxes). Eight of them have an area of 60 m² (646 ft²) and the remaining 32 have an area of 30 m² (323 ft²).[7] In addition to the sky-boxes, stadium offers 1383 seats of higher standard (VIP places) for the more affluent guests. Each of them is equipped with comfortable seat and located just below the sky-boxes. Both sky-boxes and VIP places have a separate entrance with dedicated foyer.[9]

The seats on the PGE Arena was provided by Polish company Forum Seating belonging to the Nowy Styl Group located in Krosno.[10] Moreover the stadium has 50 extra seats for disabled persons.

Name[edit]

In December 2009, the stadium’s name was purchased by the Polish Energy Group (PGE) for 35 million złoty (about 8.5 million euro) for a duration of five years.[11] The city of Gdańsk sold the naming rights in order to cover some of the costs of its construction. The only stipulation was that the name must include the word "Arena". The oil company Lotos and power company PGE were the final competitors for the sponsorship contract which also includes the display of the firm’s logo in at least two locations at the top of the stadium, along with internal advertisements. The stadium was originally known as the Baltic Arena.

T29 Sports Bar & Restaurant[edit]

On 20 January 2012 after several months of preparation a special club bar named T29 Sports Bar & Restaurant was opened to the public. This name is not a coincidence - it originates from the abbreviation of the previous Lechia Gdańsk stadium’s address: Traugutta 29 and it is seen as a tribute for a venue where the history of 'the White-and-Green' was made. Whole interior design is related with the different events which refers to the history of the club. The most distinctive parts of the design are two tremendous murals located opposite to each other on the side walls of the pub. Both paintings show an artistic interpretation of the panorama of the old Lechia stadium. T29 Sports Bar & Restaurant is situated in the north part of the stadium, just below the visiting team's supporters sector. The pub is a two-level construction with the total area of 800m2. There are 39’ TV- sets located on both stories of the pub. Every match of Lechia Gdańsk and another important sport events (incl. matches of polish Ekstraklasa) are broadcast there every day. T29 Sports Bar & Restaurant is open for the visitors 7 days a week.[12][13]

Construction history[edit]

Facade of the stadium built with polycarbonate modules

The stadium was built specifically for the UEFA European Football Championship, which was held in 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. The first conceptual design of the stadium has been presented by the city of Gdańsk before the tournament host's choice.[7] On 31 January 2008 architect who had designed the stadium was selected. It was a company of Rhode-Kellermann-Wawrowsky from Düsseldorf, which designed such stadiums like Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen and the AWD-Arena in Hannover.[14] First part of construction documents were consisted of 92 volumes and the second one included next 137 volumes. Stadium specialist HPP Architects from Düsseldorf also contributed to the design development.

On 2 April 2008, work began on preparing the ground for the construction of the stadium, including liquidation of allotments, felling of trees and shrubs.[15] On 15 December 2008 work started on the ground exchange and density of land for the construction of the stadium.[7]

PGE Arena Gdańsk interior

The official opening of the offers from companies willing to build new stadium took place on 25 March 2009. The offers prices varies form about 522 mln zł to 635 mln zł. Two days later contract with company who introduced the cheapest offer was signed. It was consortium of companies: Hydrobudowa Polska S.A, Hydrobudowa 9, Alpine Bau Deutschland AG Berlin, Alpine Bau GmbH Austria, Alpine Construction Polska Sp. z o.o.[16]

One of the most important days in history of PGE Arena was 28 May 2009 when the main construction began.[17] In mid-July the cornerstone was laid.[18] Within the next year main steel and concrete structure was completed and the ceremony of topping out took place at 24 July 2010.

The original date of completion of the stadium was the end of 2010. On 9 June 2011, a match between the national teams of Poland and France was planned.[19] Due to security reasons, the match was moved to Warsaw.[20]

The stadium was opened at 19 July 2011.[21] The first official football event on PGE Arena Gdańsk took place on August 14, 2011. The match between Lechia Gdańsk and KS Cracovia ended in 1:1 draw and the first goalscorer on the new stadium was Fred Benson.[22]

Location & transport[edit]

The stadium is located in the northern part of the city, across the Martwa Wisła River, in the Letnica district. The main entrance is located on the side of newly created ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk (Generations of Lechia Gdańsk street).

Main roads that leading to the stadium are the ul. Marynarki Polskiej (“Polish Navy street”) and the ul. Uczniowska . Getting to the stadium is easily possible by public transport, mainly due to tram lines # 1, 7, 10 leading to tram stops called Mostostal or PGE Arena Gdańsk. However they are not available on the match days, due to the fact that tram platforms are not prepared to handle such increased number of passengers. Therefore additional tram lines are available for the football fanatics during every match day. Their final destination is tram stop Kliniczna located about 3 km away from the stadium.

Moreover on every match day, special free of charge SKM (Fast Urban Railway) line leads from Gdańsk Główny railway station to Gdańsk stadium Expo station located near the stadium. This line was modernized especially for the UEFA European Football Championship in 2012. It has been used for the first time, before and after the Ekstraklasa match between Lechia Gdańsk and Legia Warszawa which took place on May 3, 2012. It is worth noting that this line is also available for passengers in the days when the trade exhibition take place in the new headquarters of the MTG SA Gdańsk International Fair Co. located next to the PGE Arena Gdańsk.[23]

Euro 2012 matches[edit]

The stadium was one of the venues for the UEFA Euro 2012. Three group C matches were played there (with the other matches in that group played at City Stadium, Poznań), as well as one quarterfinal. During the finals it was known as the 'Arena Gdansk' for sponsorship reasons.

The following matches were played at the stadium during the UEFA Euro 2012:

Spanish supporters during the opening match of the stadium at Euro 2012, Spain vs Italy.
Date Time (CEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Scored
10 June 2012 18:00 Spain Spain 1–1 Italy Italy Group C Antonio Di Natale 61'
Cesc Fàbregas 64'
14 June 2012 20:45 Spain Spain 4–0 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland Group C Fernando Torres 4',70'
David Silva 49'
Cesc Fàbregas 83'
18 June 2012 20:45 Croatia Croatia 0–1 Spain Spain Group C Jesús Navas 88'
22 June 2012 20:45 Germany Germany 4–2 Greece Greece Quarter-finals Philipp Lahm 39'
Georgios Samaras 55'
Sami Khedira 61'
Miroslav Klose 68'
Marco Reus 74'
Dimitris Salpingidis 89' (pen.)
A Panorama view of PGE Arena Gdańsk - UEFA Euro 2012 - Group C Match - Spain vs Republic of Ireland

Matches of the Polish national team[edit]

So far, Poland national football team has played 4 matches on the new PGE Arena Gdańsk. The match against Germany national football team had been scheduled to be played in Warsaw but it was relocated to Gdańsk, because the National Stadium was not yet ready.

Nr Competition Date Opponent Attendance Result Scorers for Poland
1 Friendly 6 September 2011  Germany 38000 2:2 (0:0) Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Błaszczykowski
2 Friendly 14 November 2012  Uruguay 39460 1:3 (0:2) Ludovic Obraniak
3 Friendly 14 August 2013  Denmark 34952 3:2 (1:2) Mateusz Klich, Waldemar Sobota, Piotr Zieliński
4 Friendly 6 June 2014  Lithuania 33074 2:1 (0:1) Arkadiusz Milik, Robert Lewandowski

Concerts[edit]

Concerts at PGE Arena Gdańsk
Date Artist Tour Attendance
27 September 2012 Jennifer Lopez Dance Again World Tour 25,000
19 June 2013 Bon Jovi Because We Can 31,167
19 August 2014 Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience World Tour

Controversies[edit]

Seat colour[edit]

Along initial design by Rhode-Kellermann-Wawrowsky all seats were to create a mosaic of yellow and orange in various tones. This was to match the 'amber' facades and roof. However after the final proposed layout was presented, Lechia Gdansk supporters launched a protest to block the move. As they argued, the stadium should be associated with their club's colours, not those of the archrival Arka Gdynia who aren't tenants at the stadium. In a move to satisfy these claims architects were asked to rethink the colour and came up with various tones of green. This was accepted by supporters and stayed in tact with the overall concept as amber can also be greenish (though not usually found on Polish shores, more common in the Caribbean).[24] Later, in October 2012, some seats were also painted white to read "LECHIA GDANSK" in order to allow fans to identify with the venue more.

Ban on bananas[edit]

In July 2012, the stadium became Poland's only (and probably one of very few worldwide) to have bananas on the list of items prohibited inside.[25] Decision was made by Lechia Gdansk safety manager in order to prevent racist incidents. In April of that year two black-skinned players of Lechia were thrown bananas at. This incident was a one-off, however and was soon condemned by supporters as well as authorities. Even the attacked players expressed their lack of understanding for such a measure.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nazwa ulicy przy PGE Arenie już oficjalna". neo (trojmiasto.pl). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  2. ^ "PGE Arena Gdańsk". stadiony.net (stadiony.net). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Remis na otwarcie Areny". giti (90minut.pl). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  4. ^ "Matches - Group Stage". UEFA. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  5. ^ "PGE kupił za 35 mln zł nazwę gdańskiego stadionu". WP (energetyka.wnp.pl). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  6. ^ "Gdańsk: Budowa PGE Areny przedłuży się". PAP (Dziennik Bałtycki). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Stadion w liczbach". pgearena.gdansk.pl. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  8. ^ "Rok 2011 pod znakiem nowych stadionów". Wirtualna Polska. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  9. ^ "VIP obejrzy mecz w luksusie". trojmiasto.pl. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  10. ^ "Pierwsze krzesełka na gdańskiej arenie". WP (www.2012.org.pl). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  11. ^ "Stadion w Letnicy to już oficjalnie PGE Arena Gdańsk". Marzena Klimowicz-Sikorska (trojmiasto.pl). Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  12. ^ "Gdańsk: T29 Bar na PGE Arenie otwarty. Atrakcja dla kibiców Lechii i nie tylko. Jak wygląda w środku?". gdansk.naszemiasto.pl. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  13. ^ "T29 Sports Bar & Restaurant". pgearena.gdansk.pl. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Polacy i Niemcy zaprojektują Baltic Arenę". Jacek Stańczyk (trojmiasto.pl). Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  15. ^ "Pierwsza koparka na budowie Balic Areny". trojmiasto.pl. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  16. ^ "Znamy wykonawcę stadionu Balic Arena". wiadomosci24.pl. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  17. ^ "Ruszyła budowa gdańskiej areny". 2012.org.pl. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  18. ^ "Kamień węgielny już jest". trojmiasto.pl. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  19. ^ "Polska-Francja: będzie drogo. Rusza sprzedaż biletów". neo (trojmiasto.pl). Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  20. ^ "Mecz Polska – Francja jednak w Warszawie". trojmiasto.pl. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  21. ^ "PGE Arena oddana do użytku". wp.pl. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  22. ^ "Remis na otwarcie Areny". giti (90minut.pl). Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  23. ^ "Szybką koleją na stadion w Letnicy". gdansk.pl. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  24. ^ "Jest decyzja w sprawie krzesełek Balic Areny". trojmiasto.gazeta.pl. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  25. ^ "Poland’s Euro 2012 venue bans bananas". stadiumdb.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 

External links[edit]