Swedbank Stadion

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Not to be confused with Swedbank Park.
Swedbank Stadion
Swedbank Stadion Logo.jpg
Mffstadiumnight.jpg
The pitch at Swedbank Stadion in 2009, seen from the Northern Stand
Location Eric Perssons väg 31, 217 62 Malmö
Coordinates 55°35′01″N 12°59′16″E / 55.58361°N 12.98778°E / 55.58361; 12.98778
Owner Malmö FF 75%
PEAB AB 25%
Operator MFF Event AB
Capacity 24,000, of which 18,000 are seated. (league games)
21,000 all seated. (international games)[1]
Field size 105 by 68 metres (344 ft × 223 ft)[1]
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground 23 April 2007
Built 2007–2009
Opened 13 April 2009
Construction cost 695 million kronor(€79,7)
Architect Fojab arkitekter
Berg Arkitektkontor
Structural engineer Byggteknik i Skåne
Main contractors PEAB
Tenants
Malmö FF (2009–present)

Swedbank Stadion, often called Stadion, is a football stadium in Malmö, Sweden and the home of Allsvenskan club Malmö Fotbollförening, commonly known as Malmö FF. In UEFA competitions, the stadium is known as Malmö New Stadium for sponsorship reasons.[2] The stadium is named after Swedish based banking group Swedbank, which owns its naming rights.[3] Apart from being the home of Malmö FF, Swedbank Stadion has also hosted senior and youth international matches, concerts, and other events.

The stadium is the third largest used by a Swedish football club, behind AIK's Friends Arena and Djurgårdens IF's and Hammarby IF's Tele2 Arena, both located in Stockholm. In league matches, the stadium has a capacity of 24,000, of which 18,000 are seated, and 6,000 are standing. In European matches, the 6,000 standing places are converted to 3,000 seats, making the stadium a 21,000-capacity all-seater.[1] Swedbank Stadion opened in April 2009, and replaced Malmö Stadion, where Malmö FF had been based since 1958. The new ground was originally budgeted to cost 398 million kronor, but ultimately cost 695 million kronor (€79.7).[4] It is a UEFA category 4-rated stadium, and is thus able to host all UEFA club competition matches, except for finals.[5] The ground's record attendance, 24,148, was set in an Allsvenskan match between Malmö FF and Mjällby AIF on 7 November 2010: in this match, Malmö FF won 2–0 and clinched that year's national championship.[6]

History[edit]

The building site of the stadium in June 2007 with Malmö Stadion in the background

Malmö FF's board of directors initiated the search for a new stadium in the mid-1990s. Malmö Stadion, where Malmö FF had played since its construction in 1958, was starting to deteriorate by this time, and was also too large for the club, which often struggled to fill it for Allsvenskan matches. In 1995, club chairman Bengt Madsen began to raise money for the renovation of Malmö IP, the club's former home between 1910 and 1957, into a modern football stadium. Malmö IP was practical and economical for the club as it was already an extant site, and was smaller than Malmö Stadion, which was expensive to maintain. The renovation of Malmö IP was finished in August 1999, and Malmö FF moved in soon after. However, the renovated ground failed to live up to expectations, proving to be very basic by modern standards; the paltry capacity of 7,600 was also deemed a security issue. The club therefore moved back to Malmö Stadion in 2001.[7]

The club's directors now considered constructing an entirely new stadium in Malmö. Plans for such a ground were first mooted in 2001,[8] but were not fully considered until the end of 2004, when the team won Allsvenskan for the first time since 1989. Malmö Municipality announced on 25 April 2005 its intention to either help the club renovate Malmö Stadion, or build a new stadium in the same area.[9] Four days later, five different scenarios were laid out by the City of Malmö: the first proposed the construction of an entirely new, football-specific stadium to the south of Malmö Stadion, while the second suggested the demolition of Malmö Stadion, and the erection of a new ground for football and athletics on the same site. The third, fourth, and fifth ideas all proposed the building of two stadiums, one for football and one for athletics, on various local plots.[10] The municipality chose the first option on 3 December 2005: the new football ground would be built south of Malmö Stadion, with a capacity of 20,000 to 25,000, on a 399 million kronor budget. Malmö Stadion, meanwhile, would be renovated into an athletics stadium for 50 million kronor.[11]

The stadium during construction in July 2008

Construction of the new stadium commenced on 23 April 2007, with the first sod being turned by Malmö FF chairman Bengt Madsen, Malmö Municipality chairman Ilmar Reepalu, club captain Daniel Andersson, and two former players: Daniel's brother Patrik, and their father Roy.[12] The ground was designed by FOJAB Arkitekter, in collaboration with Berg Arkitektkontor, which also designed Friends Arena, the Swedish national stadium, which is in Solna. The main constructor for the new Malmö FF stadium was PEAB. Its budget was ultimately heavily exceeded: PEAB announced in 2009 that it would cost 695 million kronor instead of the original 399 million. The extra amount was explained as being down to miscalculations in the original budget, as well as additions made to the plans since the start of construction, which PEAB reasoned made the original budget no longer entirely valid.[4] Malmö FF announced on 12 July 2007 that they had sold the naming rights for the stadium to Swedish bank Swedbank, for a ten-year period, starting on the ground's opening.[3] Between 2009 and 2013 the naming rights to stands inside the stadium were sold to different sponsors. At the start of the 2014 season the sponsor names of the stands were removed and the advertisement placements in front of each stand were sold to the club's largest sponsors. The graphical profile of the advertisement was also given a light blue background with white text to adhere to the club's colours.[13] The ground's inauguration game was played several months before, on 13 April 2009, against Örgryte IS. Malmö FF won the game 3–0, and the first goal was scored by midfielder Labinot Harbuzi. All facilities related to football were completed by this time, but the office space and some exterior work was yet to be done. This was finished in late 2009. The completed building was 27 meters tall, 150 meters wide, and 215 meters in length.[1]

On 9 May 2009, weeks after the stadium opened, part of the ground's away section was earmarked for conversion into terracing. This was because of high demand from away supporters, who had previously had to pay for a seating ticket, even though they preferred to stand. Even before this remodelling was complete, Malmö FF lowered the away ticket prices to match the price of a home terracing ticket.[14] This restructuring was completed before the 2010 season. The terracing for the home supporters was also modified to ease mobility, and combat safety issues in the stands.[15]

Structure and facilities[edit]

The Northern Stand has a capacity of 6,000 supporters.
A diagram showing the alignment of stands at Swedbank Stadion

Swedbank Stadion has an overall capacity of 24,000 spectators. It comprises four stands: the Western Stand; the Eastern Stand and the Southern Stand, both of which have two tiers; and the Northern Stand, which is terraced. The lower-right part of the Southern Stand also features terracing for away supporters, but the rest of the stand is seated. The lower tier has 10,000 seats, and the upper tier has 8,000 seats. The Northern Stand has a capacity of 6,000 standing supporters, which can be transformed into an all-seated section with a capacity of 3,000 if required. This is done for matches played by Malmö FF in Europe.[16]

The Northern Stand holds the most season ticket-holders. It is a single-tier terracing section, with railing in various places across the stand for security and comfort. It can hold up to 100 wheelchair users and their companions in a dedicated section. The stand also houses conference facilities with views of the pitch, as well as the 2,000-capacity "Restaurang 1910" in the inside area, behind the terraced area of the stand, and a health club run by Friskis & Svettis. Malmö FF's official souvenir shop is on the outside of the stand, alongside an O'Learys sports bar, which holds up to 250 guests. The Eastern and Western Stands house 54 VIP boxes between them, which is more than any other football stadium in Sweden. Including all sports, is the second most after the multi-purpose indoor arena Malmö Arena, which has 72 boxes. The Eastern and Western Stands also have 2,000 club seats along their upper tiers. These seats are more comfortable than the regular seats, and come with half-time meals and snacks in "Restaurang 1910". The Western Stand includes seating for the press, as well as a large press room inside the stand. The president's box, which holds up to 60 people, is also in the Western Stand.[1]

There are 24 vending stands in the corridor area behind the stands, with a selection of different snacks, light meals, and beverages. Other facilities include exhibition space, 330 toilets for men, 120 for women, and six for the disabled. Pre-match and half-time activities take place behind the terracing of the Northern Stand.[17] This area is called Ståplatstorget ("The terracing square"), and includes eight vending stands and MFF Support's supporter centre. At the supporter centre, fans can buy souvenirs, and tickets to away matches. The square also contains publicly accessible benches and tables. Access between the different areas of the stadium was limited by a system of security gates until the end of the 2011 season, when Malmö FF announced that supporters would be able to roam the stadium freely, except for the areas occupied by away supporters. This was done to create a more free and friendly atmosphere, and to encourage fans to arrive earlier for matches. To further motivate spectators to come early, pre-match activities are often held at Ståplatstorget.[1]

The lower tier of the Southern Stand is reserved for away supporters, with most of the stand being seated. The western part of the stand, however, is converted into terracing for domestic league games. The area reserved for away supporters varies from game to game depending on how many away fans are expecting: the allocation's size is altered by restricting access to and from the area with large safety nets, which are laid across the seating and supervised by stewards. The away section is small for most Allsvenskan matches, with the most notable exceptions being matches against Helsingborgs IF, AIK, Djurgårdens IF, and IFK Göteborg. These matches tend to draw larger away attendances, and the away area is therefore accordingly expanded across the entire lower tier of the Southern Stand.[15]

In tribute to former manager Roy Hodgson and his successful time at Malmö, the club's fans have unofficially named the upper corner of the Eastern Stand closest to the Northern Stand "Roy's Hörna" (Roy's Corner).[18] The corresponding corner of the Western Stand on the other side of the Northern Stand is named "Bob's Hörna" (Bob's Corner) in tribute to Bob Houghton.[19] These sections are known as "Sjungande sittplats" (Singing seating) since the two sections are fitted with seats but where the majority of the spectators are standing fans that sings in correlation with the fans on the terracing at the Northern Stand between the two sections.[19] Both Hodgson and Houghton had successful managerial careers at Malmö FF, they both won multiple league and cup titles while at the club.[20]

A panorama of Swedbank Stadion from the Northern Stand, showing, from left to right, the Eastern Stand, the Southern Stand and the Western Stand

Ownership and financials[edit]

Swedbank Stadion is owned by Fotbollsstadion i Malmö Fastighets AB, an aktiebolag. Two parties own the stocks, Malmö FF, who own 75% of the stocks, and PEAB, the main building contractor, who own the remaining 25%.

Originally, three parties owned the stocks in the aktiebolag, PEAB who owned 50% of the stocks, Malmö FF who owned 25%, and Erling Pålsson Teknik & Fastighets AB who owned the remaining 25%. Malmö FF early expressed their desire to buy the stocks of PEAB and Erling Pålsson to reduce rent on the stadium and increase profits. On 27 April 2012, it was announced that Malmö FF were close to buying the full 25% of stocks owned by Erling Pålsson and 25% of the stocks owned by PEAB, increasing their own share to 75% and leaving PEAB with a 25% share.[21] On 1 May 2012, Malmö Stad granted the bailment needed for Malmö FF to buy the stocks.[22] The deal, worth 90 million kronor, was finalised on 13 June 2012.[23] The long term goal for Malmö FF is to buy the remaining 25% of the stocks to fully own Swedbank Stadion.[24]

Other uses[edit]

Swedbank Stadion hosted the finals of the 2009 UEFA Under-21 Championships, along with three group stage games.[25] After this, the all-seater away section was refitted with terracing for away fans.[14] The stadium hosted its first full national team game on 7 September 2010, when Sweden played against San Marino in a qualifier for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. Sweden won 6–0.[26] The stadium hosted Svenska Supercupen in 2011, after Malmö FF won the Swedish league championship the previous year.[27] The most recent international match at the stadium was a friendly fixture between Sweden and Macedonia on 3 June 2013. The possibility of the stadium hosting 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification fixtures for Iraq was raised after a friendly between Iraq and Brazil on 11 October 2011.[28]

The stadium hosted its first concert on 16 April 2011, when Swedish ska group Hoffmaestro & Chraa performed.[29] The concert was held at Ståplatstorget, the large area behind the Northern Stand terraces. The concert was attended by 3,000, and there were some concerns regarding the suitability of the venue after the concrete floor started rocking. However, safety checks the next day showed that the structure had not been damaged, and was suitable to host similar events in the future.[30]

International football matches[edit]

Records and awards[edit]

A graph of Malmö FF's average attendances over the period from 2009 to 2013

The ground's present attendance record was set on 7 November 2010, when Malmö FF beat Mjällby AIF 2–0 in Allsvenskan before 24,148 fans. The game was the last of the season, and the victory secured that year's league championship for Malmö FF.[6] The record crowd for the stadium as an all-seater was recorded when Sweden beat San Marino 6–0 in a Euro 2012 qualifying game on 7 September 2010. The match was attended by 21,083.[32] The first match played at Swedbank Stadion, a 3–0 Allsvenskan victory for Malmö FF against Örgryte IS on 13 April 2009, attracted 23,347 spectators.[33] The highest average attendance for Malmö FF at Swedbank Stadion was in the 2013 Allsvenskan championship winning season when the average attendance was 16,093, the second highest attendance in the league during that year.[34]

The stadium was awarded Stålbyggnadspriset, an award given for innovative use of steel in constructions, by Stålbyggnadsinstitutet in 2009.[35]

Transportation[edit]

Triangeln, the closest railway station to Swedbank Stadion

Swedbank Stadion is served by Malmö bus lines 3, 5, 6, and 34, all of which stop in the vicinity of the stadium. Local transit authority Skånetrafiken also operates dedicated match-day buses, branded as line 84, which run to the stadium from different areas of Malmö. Due to the central location of the stadium within the city, parking space is limited, and spectators are advised to use public transportation, particularly for more prominent matches.[36] The stadium is also located close to the underground railway station Triangeln, which opened in December 2010 as a part of Citytunneln. The station is served by Pågatåg and Öresund Trains, and is reachable non-stop from many parts of the Öresund Region.[37]

The closest parking location to Swedbank Stadion is "P-huset Stadion", a parking garage with 440 parking spaces, which was purpose-built for the ground and opened in September 2009. It is located 100 metres (330 ft) from the stadium, just beside the club's training ground.[38] There are also various other local parking spaces, and a large number of bicycle stands surrounding the western edge of the stadium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Korta Fakta" [Facts]. swedbankstadion.se (in Swedish). Swedbank Stadion. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Swedbank Stadion blir Malmö New Stadium" [Swedbank Stadion becomes Malmö New Stadium]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Madsen: Inget tak i avtalet" [Madsen: No roof in deal]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Peab höjde notan med 300 miljoner" [Peab raised the bill with 300 million]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Swedbank Stadion högt rankad av UEFA" [Swedbank Stadion highly ranked by UEFA]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Hela, hela vägen" [All, All the way]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 7 November 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "En lång väg från Gamla ip till nya drömarenan" [A long way from "Gamla ip" to the new stadium of dreams]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Riv Stadion och bygg nytt" [Demolish the stadium and build a new one]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish) (Sydsvenskan). 6 March 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "MFF får ny fotbollsarena" [MFF gets their new football stadium]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 26 April 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Fem förslag till nytt fotbollsstadion, men inga beslut" [Five suggestions for new football stadium, no decision taken]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Klartecken för ny Stadion i Malmö" [Go-ahead for new stadium in Malmö]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Swedbank Stadion har påbörjats" [Work on Swedbank Stadion has begun]. swedbankstadion.se (in Swedish). Swedbank Stadion. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Swedbank Stadion blir himmelsblått" [Swedbank Stadion becomes skyblue]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Swedbank stadion kan byggas om" [Swedbank may be redesigned]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Swedbank Stadion förbereds inför premiären" [Swedbank Stadion is being prepared for the season]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "En dröm blir verklighet" [A dream becomes reality]. swedbankstadion.se (in Swedish). Swedbank Stadion. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Förfester på Supportertorget" [Pre-match activities at "Supportertorget"]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "Why Hodgson is the right man to steady the Liverpool ship". Sport.co.uk. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Biljettsläpp 21 mars!" [Tickets will be released on 21 March!]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "The making of Roy: How Hodgson conquered Scandinavia". independent.co.uk. The independent. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "MFF utökar sitt ägande" [Malmö FF increase their ownership]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "MFF beviljades borgen" [MFF granted bailment]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  23. ^ "MFF utökar sitt ägande i Swedbank Stadion" [Malmö FF increase their ownership in Swedbank Stadion]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "Målet är att äga hela Stadion" [The goal is to fully own the stadium]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  25. ^ "Finalen i U21 EM spelas på Swedbank Stadion!" [The final of the UEFA Under-21 Championships will be played at Swedbank Stadion]. mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Herr: Ibra tvåmålsskytt i Malmö" ["Ibra" scored two goals in Malmö]. svenskfotboll.se (in Swedish). The Swedish Football Association. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  27. ^ "Helsingborg tog hem Supercupen 2011" [Helsingborg won Supercupen 2011]. svenskfotboll.se (in Swedish). The Swedish Football Association. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  28. ^ "Irak kan kvala i Malmö" [Iraq can play qualifiers in Malmö]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  29. ^ "Spretigt med Hoffmaestro" [Sprawling with Hoffmaestro]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 17 April 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  30. ^ "Bad publiken sluta hoppa" [Concert attendance asked to stop jumping]. sydsvenskan.se (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  31. ^ "Brasilien showade i Malmö - krossade Irak med 6-0" [Brazil showed off in Malmö - crushed Iraq with 6-0]. eurosport.se (in Swedish). Eurosport. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  32. ^ "Ibrahimović enjoys fairy-tale return". uefa.com. UEFA. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  33. ^ "Malmö FF – Örgryte IS". svenskfotboll.se (in Swedish). The Swedish Football Association. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "Publikliga" (in Swedish). The Swedish Football Association. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  35. ^ "Stålbyggnadspriset 2009 - Swedbank Stadion". sbi.se (in Swedish). Stålbyggnadsinstitutet. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  36. ^ "Hitta hit" [How to get here]. swedbankstadion.se (in Swedish). Swedbank Stadion. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  37. ^ "Citytunneln har öppnat" [The city tunnel is now in operation]. malmo.se (in Swedish). Malmö municipality. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  38. ^ "P-huset Stadion invigt" ["P-huset Stadion" initiated]. pmalmo.se (in Swedish). The parking authority of Malmö municipality. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 

External links[edit]