Elbasan Arena

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Elbasan Arena
Ruzhdi Bizhuta
Location Qemal Stafa Boulevard, Elbasan
Albania
Coordinates 41°06′57.15″N 20°05′31.17″E / 41.1158750°N 20.0919917°E / 41.1158750; 20.0919917Coordinates: 41°06′57.15″N 20°05′31.17″E / 41.1158750°N 20.0919917°E / 41.1158750; 20.0919917
Opened 1967
Renovated 2004
2014
Owner KF Elbasani
Operator KF Elbasani
Surface Grass
Construction cost 4,000,000.00 Euro
Capacity 18,000
Tenants
KF Elbasani
Albania

Ruzhdi Bizhuta Stadium or Elbasan Arena (Albanian: Stadiumi Ruzhdi Bizhuta) is a multi-purpose stadium in Elbasan, Albania. The stadium was completed in 1967 and has been the home ground of KF Elbasani ever since. The capacity of the stadium is 15,000, making it the 6th largest in Albania.[1]

History[edit]

The stadium was built in the 60s and opened in 1967 while KF Elbasani (then named KF Labinoti Elbasan) were playing the old Kategoria e parë, which is now the Albanian Superliga.

National team[edit]

In January 2014, it was confirmed that the Ruzhdi Bizhuta Stadium would host the home games of the Albanian national team while the demolition and reconstruction of the Qemal Stafa Stadium was taking place. Ruzhdi Bizhuta would host Albania's home games for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying stage, but only after a renovation of the existing stadium is completed. The renovation costs amounted to € 2 million, €300,000 of which the Albanian Football Association would be paying for and the remaining €1 million would be paid for by the Albanian government. Prime minister Edi Rama visited the stadium on 28 January 2014 as part of his visit to the city of Elbasan, which is where he made the announcement confirming that the Ruzhdi Bizhuta Stadium would replace Qemal Stafa as the national team's home ground temporarily.[2][3][4]

The renovation of the stadium to meet the requirements of UEFA began in February 2014. There changing rooms for the players and the match officials will be reconstructed, a conference room will be built, emergency vehicle entrance to the ground will be made easier and a new executive seating area will be created, with 400 seats. The stadium lighting will be replaced with new floodlights and new electric scoreboards will be fitted, as well as electronic ticket turnstiles. The pitch will be completely re-turfed and there will be 10,200 plastic seats installed.[5] It is planned to be completed by September 2014.

References[edit]