Vasil Levski National Stadium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Vasil Levski Stadium)
Jump to: navigation, search
Vasil Levski National Stadium
PFC Levski Sofia vs Chelsea FC, UEFA Champions League 2006-07, Sofia, Bulgaria.jpg
Location Sofia, Bulgaria
Coordinates 42°41′15.30″N 23°20′7.60″E / 42.6875833°N 23.3354444°E / 42.6875833; 23.3354444Coordinates: 42°41′15.30″N 23°20′7.60″E / 42.6875833°N 23.3354444°E / 42.6875833; 23.3354444
Opened 5 July 1953
Renovated 1966, 2002, 2012
Owner Ministry of Physical Education and Sport of Bulgaria
Operator Ministry of Physical Education and Sport of Bulgaria
Surface Grass
Architect Kano Dundakov
Capacity 43,230[1]
Field size 105 X 68
Tenants
Levski Sofia 1934 - 1950
Bulgaria national football team 1950 -

Vasil Levski National Stadium (Bulgarian: Национален стадион „Васил Левски“), named after Bulgarian national hero Vasil Levski, is the country's largest stadium. The stadium has 43,230 seats and is located in the centre of Sofia, on the territory of the city's oldest and most famous park - the Borisovata gradina. The Bulgaria national football team's home matches and the Bulgarian Cup finals are held at the venue, as well as athletics competitions. It was used as the home venue for Levski Sofia's Champions League games, and is often used for important derbies between the big clubs from Sofia, instead of their own home stadiums.

History[edit]

Vasil Levski National Stadium was officially opened in 1953, extended in 1966 and renovated in 2002.

Prior to their demolition by the Communist authorities during the 1940s and 50s, two other stadiums stood on the ground where the current national stadium lies. One of those was Levski Sofia's club stadium, called Levski Field (Bulgarian: Igrishte Levski, completed 1934), and the other - the Yunak Stadium (built 1928), which lay partially to the southwest. The latter used to host national football team matches with its capacity of about 15,000 seats. Levski were compensated for their loss with a place in the suburbs of Sofia where they were allowed to build a new stadium - the present day Georgi Asparuhov.

The Vasil Levski stadium was completed in 1953 with an announced capacity of 42 000.[2] Originally, only the lower tier of stands was built (roughly half the height of the current stands), and, due to the uneven lie of the land, the western end of the pitch and stands were below ground level.[3] The upper tier was built about a decade later, with the current floodlight towers built in the late 1960s.

Inside the stadium

The Vasil Levski stadium was used for athletics competitions immediately after its official opening on 5 July 1953. The first football match played there after its opening was a friendly between Dinamo Sofia and FC Wien and, a month later, it also began being used for league games. The first international was a world cup qualifier on 6 September against Czechoslovakia.[4]

Vassil Levski National Stadium in Bulgaria.jpg

The stadium offers also judo, artistic gymnastics, basketball, boxing, aerobics, fencing and table tennis halls, as well as a general physical training hall, two conference halls and three restaurants. It hosted the 1957 European basketball championship.[5]

It was the proposed venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in Sofia's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

In July 2011 plans were announced to build a new, state of the art 40000-seater national stadium in the Sofia suburbs, but was later scrapped.

Concert venue[edit]

The stadium has hosted music shows by a number of regional and world stars.

The most succssesful concert in Bulgaria ever and thus at the Vasil Levski stadium was held by Yugoslav superstar Lepa Brena in 1990 in front of 110.000 people.[6][7][citation needed] This record remains unbroken till date. The curiosity of the concert was the way Lepa Brena arrived at the stadium - by landing from the helicopter directly to the stage.

American metal band Metallica held one of the most successful concerts in Bulgaria in the stadium as part of their 2008 European Vacation Tour, attracting 50,000 people.[8]

American superstar Madonna had a very successful concert here as part of the second European second leg of her Sticky & Sweet Tour on August 29, 2009. She performed in front of 54,000 people [9][citation needed] and was warmly welcomed by her numerous fans. After the show, the grass was badly damaged, which caused some discontent amongst football fans, national team players, coaches and staff.

On 14 May 2010, Australian rock band AC/DC played the Bulgarian capital Sofia, in front of nearly 60,000 fans as part of their Black Ice World Tour.

A festival, under the name Sofia Rocks, part of Sonisphere Festival took place on the Vasil Levski National Stadium. The festival was held over 2 days on the 22nd and 23 June with live performances by world renowned bands such as Rammstein, Metallica, Manowar and Alice in chains among others.

The Big Four, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, performed all together during the Sonisphere Festival. The performance at the Sonisphere Festival in Sofia was beamed to more than 450 movie theatres in more than 140 markets in the U.S. and select cities in Europe, Canada and South America on June 22, 2010. The live video was later released on DVD and Blu-ray in October 2010, entitled The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria.

On October 30, the North American rock band Bon Jovi announced that they will perform live at Levski during their Because We Can tour on May 14, 2013.

Concerts[edit]

Concerts at Vasil Levski National Stadium
Date Artist Tour Attendance
24 July 1990 Lepa Brena[10] Boli me uvo za sve Tour 110.000
19 September 1993 Scorpions - 22.000
14 September 2006 Ceca Grom Tour 4.000
24 July 2008 Metallica 2008 European Vacation Tour 50.000
29 August 2008 Madonna Sticky & Sweet Tour 53,660
14 May 2010 AC/DC Black Ice World Tour 60.000
22 June 2010 Metallica World Magnetic Tour 50.000
23 June 2010 Rammstein Liebe ist für alle da Tour 45.000
8 July 2012 Guns N' Roses Up Close and Personal Tour 30.000
14 May 2013 Bon Jovi Because We Can: The Tour 47,266
26 July 2013 Rammstein Made in Germany 1995–2011 (tour) -
30 August 2013 Roger Waters The Wall Live (concert tour) 31,371

Location[edit]

The stadium is located in the city centre. It can be reached by bus (lines 9, 72, 75, 76, 84, 94, 204, 213, 280, 306, 604), trolleybus (lines 1, 2, 5, 8), tram (lines 10, 12, 18) or using the Vasil Levski Stadium metro station.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/FirstDiv/uefaorg/Publications/01/67/03/93/1670393_DOWNLOAD.pdf
  2. ^ Naroden Sport, Issues 964, 3 July 1953. The stadium did not have individual seating at the time, hence the higher capacity despite the smaller size of the stands.
  3. ^ V. Levski and Druzhba stadiums (1960s), Lost Bulgaria. The Vasil Levski stadium is shown before the construction of the higher tier of stands and the floodlights. Retrieved Nov 2012.
  4. ^ Naroden Sport, Issues 967 & 983, from 13 Jul and 7 Sept 1953. The very first match was actually a friendly between the Bulgarian national side and the visiting French workers' team FSGT, played in April (Naroden Sport, Issue 945, 1 May 1953).
  5. ^ Eurobasket History - The 50's
  6. ^ "Serbia's Pop Folk Legend Lepa Brena to Thrill Bulgarian Fans in April". Novinite.com. March 27, 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6_L4R-YWGs
  8. ^ M3 Web - http://m3web.bg (2008-07-26). "Legendary ???Metallica??? Musicians Rock Sofia: Legendary "Metallica" Musicians Rock Sofia - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". 188.40.98.135. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  9. ^ "Madonna HOME". Madonna.com. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  10. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BxTVG025zQ
Preceded by
1955 Final Venue
Budapest
Eurobasket
Final Venue

1957
Succeeded by
1959 Final Venue
Istanbul
Preceded by
Stadio Olimpico
 Italy
Universiade
1977
Succeeded by
Estadio Olímpico Universitario
 Mexico