Friends Arena

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Friends Arena
Friends Arena Logo2.png
Former names Swedbank Arena (2009–2012)
Location Solna, Stockholm
Coordinates 59°22′21″N 18°00′00″E / 59.37250°N 18.00000°E / 59.37250; 18.00000Coordinates: 59°22′21″N 18°00′00″E / 59.37250°N 18.00000°E / 59.37250; 18.00000
Owner Swedish Football Association, Folksam, Solna Municipality, Jernhusen, Peab, Fabege[1]
Executive suites 92
Capacity 50,653 (football[2])
65,000 (concerts)[3]
Record attendance

56,840 (Bruce Springsteen, 11 May 2013)[4]

49,967 (SwedenEngland, 14 November 2012)[5]
Broke ground 7 December 2009[6]
Built 2009–2012
Opened 27 October 2012[3]
Construction cost 2.8 billion SEK
( 300 million)
Architect Arkitekterna Krook & Tjäder, Berg Arkitektkontor, Populous[7]
Main contractors Peab
Sweden national football team (2012–)
AIK Fotboll (2013–)

Friends Arena (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfrɛnds aˈreːˈna]) is a retractable roof multi-purpose stadium located next to the lake Råstasjön in Solna, just north of Stockholm City Centre. Since its opening it has served as Sweden's national stadium (Swedish: Nationalarenan) for football. The main tenants of the stadium are Sweden's national football team and Allsvenskan football club AIK; both relocated from their previous home at the Råsunda Stadium. The venue has a total capacity of 65,000 at concerts and 50,000 seated at football matches, but the stadium can be scaled down to provide for smaller events with approximately 20,000 guests. Friends Arena is the biggest football stadium, and indoor venue, in the Nordic countries.


Initially there were plans to build a new national stadium close to the indoor venue Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, but at 1 April 2006 the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) made the decision to build the new stadium in Solna. It was calculated to cost around 1.9 billion kronor (202 million euro) to complete. The estimated cost before construction had begun was 2.3 billion kronor. It replaced Råsunda Stadium, Sweden's former national arena for football. Råsunda will be torn down and will be the first stadium that hosted a FIFA World Cup in history to be removed. Blocks of 700 flats and office buildings will be erected on the site.

Swedbank acquired the naming rights to the new stadium in a 153 million kronor (about 20.5 million euro) deal that will last until 2023. While the arena was originally to be known as Swedbank Arena under the deal, Swedbank announced on 28 March 2012 that it would donate its naming rights to Friends, a nonprofit organization against school bullying of which Swedbank is a supporter. As such, the stadium was renamed Friends Arena.

Opening ceremony[edit]

On 22 August 2012, Friends Arena unveiled the plans for the opening ceremony which took place on 27 October 2012. The theme for the show was Swedish Moments and it was directed by Colin Nutley.[8]

Structure and facilities[edit]

The stadium has a retractable roof, enabling events to take place during the winter season and to host indoor entertainment shows. The facade of the arena can be lit up in 17 million different color schemes. For example, the stadium is lit up in blue and yellow when Sweden's national team is playing matches. Friends Arena is a UEFA Category 4 stadium, and the natural turf pitch measures 105 x 68 metres. In the middle of the stadium roof, a 240 square metres big media cube is placed where the attendance can follow what is happening. In addition, 647 LED-screens are installed throughout the facility to enhance the guest experience.[3]


The exterior of Friends Arena

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden declared Friends Arena inaugurated at the opening ceremony which took place in the venue at 27 October 2012. The show, directed by famous Swedish director Colin Nutley, was entitled "Svenska Ögonblick" (Swedish Moments). Artists like Agnes Carlsson, The Hives, Icona Pop, Loreen, First Aid Kit and Roxette performed in front of a crowd of 46,000 people. Furthermore, 1,700,000 TV viewers watched the inauguration show live at SVT1.[9]

Swedish House Mafia made three acclaimed concerts during their One Last Tour in the arena. A total of approximately 115,000 people visited Friends Arena during the three sold-out concerts in November 2012.

At 14 November 2012, the stadium hosted its first football game. Zlatan Ibrahimović scored the first goal at Sweden's new national stadium in the 4–2 victory against England. The game was seen by 49,967 people, which is the current attendance record for a sport event.[10]

Sweden v Republic of Ireland. March 22nd 2013.

A spectacular new record for Swedish bandy was set at the 2013 Swedish Bandy Championship Final, when Hammarby IF defeated Sandvikens AIK ahead of an audience of 38,474 persons under the closed roof.[11]

AIK played their first competitive football match at April 7, 2013. Visiting team Syrianska FC succeeded to get one point after a goalless game, but the better for AIK, they set a new club record attendance for a home game in Allsvenskan of 43,463.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band played three sold out concerts at Friends Arena between May 3–11, 2013 on their Wrecking Ball Tour, breaking the venue's attendance records with over 55,000 attendees at each show. In thanking Swedish fans for their long time support and loyalty, Springsteen played full albums during the concerts: Born To Run on May 3, Darkness on the Edge of Town on May 4, and Born In The U.S.A. on May 11.

The final of the UEFA Women's Euro were played at 28 July 2013. 41,301 people watched Germany overcome Norway with a score of 1–0. The game set a new attendance record for a Women's Euro fixture. Solna became also the first city in Europe which has hosted all four big football championships (FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, UEFA European Championship and UEFA Women's Championship).

The arena also hosts Motorcycle speedway as part of the Speedway Grand Prix World Championship series and has hosted the Speedway Grand Prix of Scandinavia since 2013. The temporary track at the arena is 275 metres (301 yards) in length.

The stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Europa League Final in 2015.

Ariana Grande will perform here on May 8, 2017. It will be the kick off of the European leg of her Dangerous Woman Tour.

Points of interest[edit]

Friends Arena interior.

The stadium is located a 700-metre (800 yards) walk from the Solna commuter train station, where the Tvärbanan tramway and local buses are also available (little longer walk).

The arena, located about six km (3,7 miles) from Stockholm Central Station, has parking for 300 charter buses and 4,000 cars. Along with the stadium, there will also be built a number of hotels with a total of approximately 400 rooms, restaurants for 8,000 guests, office areas for 10,000 employees, conference/exhibition centres and 2,000 flats. Moreover, a new shopping mall with 240 shops and a multi screen cinema has opened near the stadium in 2015. The mall is called Mall of Scandinavia and is the biggest shopping centre in Sweden. The total project is calculated to cost more than 4 billion SEK.[12]

Football average attendances[edit]

[citation needed]

Season Sweden national team AIK
Games Season Average Highest Gate Lowest Gate Games Season Average Highest Gate Lowest Gate
2013 7 41,973 49,766
vs Portugal
vs Norway
15 18,900 43,466
vs Syrianska FC
vs Östers IF
2014 4 27,926 49,023
vs Russia
vs Estonia
15 16,446 30,650
vs IFK Göteborg
vs Falkenberg FF
2015 5 34,925 49,053
vs Denmark
vs Montenegro
15 20,983 43,713
vs IFK Göteborg
vs Falkenberg FF
2016 4 28,581 37,942
vs Wales
vs Czech Republic


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
UEFA Women's Euro
Final venue

Succeeded by
De Grolsch Veste
Preceded by
St. Jakob Park
UEFA Europa League
Final venue

Succeeded by
Parc Olympique Lyonnais