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Official Review by Sasa Grujic, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Karadjordje Stadium is located in Serbia`s second largest city of Novi Sad and is home to its local soccer team FK Vojvodina, founded in 1914. The club has twice won the Yugoslav League Title and Serbian Cup in 2013/14.
Karadjordje is a multi-purpose stadium opened in 1924 and has a capacity of 14,458. Since its opening, it had a racetrack installed that encircles the football pitch. The strong political influence after the end of WWII caused the stadium to be retitled the Gradski Stadion (city stadium) in 1945 before reverting to its original name in 2007.
In 1967, the stadium got its first floodlights, which were then removed in 2004. New floodlights were added in 2011. The stands present today have been built and modified several times in the stadium’s history. The last renovation of the stadium was completed in 2013.
The stadium is an all-seater, but only the main and west stands are roofed. Main facilities are incorporated into the south stand, while under the west stand are business premises. In addition to hosting games played by FK Vojvodina, Karadjordje also was several times the home venue for the national soccer team. In recent years, it has also served as the home venue for the national U-21 soccer team. Karadjordje Stadium fulfills all UEFA and IAAF requirements for competitions within their jurisdiction.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
When it comes to drinks you will probably be disappointed. Laws in Serbia prohibit the use of beer and other alcoholic drinks in and around the stadiums on the day when a match is played. Unfortunately there is no food or beverages at the stadium at all. There is only a cafe intended for guests in the VIP section. Additionally, it is not permitted to bring any drink, not even water in plastic packaging, into the stadium. Be sure to eat before the match or save your hunger and thirst for when the match is complete.
As with most multi-purpose stadiums, the atmosphere for soccer games is somewhat lost due to the pitch being surrounded by a running track. Besides that detail and even though the stadium is rarely sold out, the atmosphere is always guided by the chanting of the club`s ultras group from the north stand. Part of the east stand is reserved for guest supporters.
The stadium is oval with stands on all sides. The ground is separated from the stands with the running track. Karadjordje Stadium has a scoreboard of 42 square meters. It is a color screen of the latest generation with a clear picture even during the day.
FK Vojvodina mainly plays in the evening so you do not have to worry about which side gets more sun. Wherever you sit, visibility of any part of the field is clear.
Karadjordje Stadium is located near the very center of the city of Novi Sad. Behind its north side is the well known SPENS sports hall. Its location allows within walking distance an endless number of options to eat and drink. In addition to restaurants with local specialties within a couple of miles, one can find Chinese food, pizza, and famous Serbian meatballs called pljeskavica and ćevapi.
My strong recommendation for the food is the "Banjalučki ćevap" located behind market Futoška pijaca, just a ten minute walk from the stadium. And if you wish for something sweet just across the stadium is a romantic cake shop, which exudes a breath of past times. In general the prices are pretty cheap as you will get beer or soda for less than 2€ and food for roughly 3€-7€.
Many historical attractions are located in the center of the city, but if it is hot summer when you visit Novi Sad, then only a mile away from the stadium is a Štrand, beach on the Danube River which would be worthy of a visit. One more mile away on the opposite side of river, on the slopes of Fruška Gora is located the Petrovaradin Fortress, built in the 18th century.
Overnight rates of 10€-20€ will allow you to not spend too much at night. If you want more comfort in hotels with three and four-star accommodation rooms are offered from 40€. Once again because of the location of the stadium the possibilities for lodging are endless.
The stadium is home to one of the most organized fan groups in Serbian soccer, formed in 1989. Red Firm and Firma follow the matches of their favorite team from the north stand. Stara garda (or the old guard) cheers from the east.
Average attendance in comparison with rest of league is high, but only for big matches will the stadium be half filled.
Overall fans are both loyal and loud. They stay involved throughout the game.
Overall the stadium is easily accessible from any direction you are coming into the city.
From the main bus and train stations one can take one of a dozen city and suburban buses that go through the Boulevard, to the fourth intersection. From there you are less than hundred meters from the gates. Bus ticket costs 55rsd (0.5€) and a taxi ride is also cheap with prices up to five euros. The nearest airport is Belgrade International which is a 80km away.
The stadium does not have a car parking lot, but plenty of street parking around stadium is available.
Tickets are available at the box offices around the stadium with the main window on the southwest side. Admission is 2€-5€ depending on the stands and the match being played. With six gates on the west, two on the east and with one to the other stands entrance is easy without holding up.
Moving around the stands is available just between the rows. All stands have restrooms, however, they are not in the best condition.
Quality football at such a low price, it is really difficult to beat this experience if you're a football fan.
For any seat in the stadium you will only have to pay less than 5€. For games in European competitions the tickets prices are little higher, but they are still cheap. The match program of several pages is free of charge. Because there is an athletic track around the pitch the view is better from the west or east. Anyway, the stands behind the goals are reserved for hard-core fans. Also FK Vojvodina has a very good academy for young players, so they play soccer at a very high level for Serbian standards.
One extra point for over 100 years of history that the club has developed, including over 90 years at their present home.
One final extra point for the affordability of tickets here. It can't be overstated what a tremendous value a night out at Karadjordje Stadium is for any sports enthusiast.
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Novi Sad, Serbia 21000
00381 21 6616957
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