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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The Rasunda Stadium is located in the Solna district of Stockholm. Although out dated by today's standards, it will be sadly missed when it is shortly demolished. The stadium is being replaced by the Swedbank Arena which is currently under construction a few kilometres away at a cost of approximately 2.3 billion SEK. The Rasunda hosts the home games of top Swedish soccer club A.I.K. Stockholm, as well as Sweden's national soccer team.
The stadiums most notable fact is that it held the final of the 1958 World Cup - a final that was graced by Pele. Along with the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, it is the only stadium to have hosted the final of both the Men's and Women's World Cup Finals. It also hosted games during the 1992 European Championships and other European Club Finals.
The stadium was opened in 1937 with its record attendance set in 1965 when 52,943 watched Sweden play West Germany. Today's capacity is set at 36,608 and the venue is also home to the Swedish Football Association. A homely atmospheric ground, the Rasunda consists of four separate stands built close to the pitch. The stands behind each goal are steep and rise about its touchline counterparts.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The stadium has food kiosks located in all stands offering a selection of hot dogs, crisps, popcorn, chocolate and hot & cold drinks priced between 16-35 SEK. There are also food vendors on the approach to the stadium.
I attended the Stockholm Derby game between A.I.K. and Djurgarden and the atmosphere did not disappoint. The first ten minutes were strange as a joint protest by both sets of supporters against the Swedish F.A. saw the game kick off in silence. The start of the second half saw the teams taken off the pitch for ten minutes due to a coordinated demonstration using flares that filled the stadium with smoke. Otherwise the close proximity of the stands to the pitch makes the venue one that has put it up there amongst the best with regards to atmosphere.
Solna Centrum is a mere ten minute metro ride from the centre of Stockholm. This is the business district of the city and the Solna Centrum Shopping Complex offers plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants to occupy a couple of hours before a game.
Stockholm itself, although expensive, is an ideal location for a city break. The city is built over fourteen islands and offers a wide range of museums, and other activities. A visit to the Royal Palace is highly recommended as are boat trips which are available from outside the Grand Hotel.
Hotels in the city centre can be expensive but there are good deals if you shop about. The 4 star Scandic Star Hotel in Sollentuna, a fifteen minute commuter train journey from central Stockholm, was an excellent value for money and a good base. Also recommended as a reasonably priced restaurant is Alforno Pizzeria at 88 B 111 36 Stockholm.
Swedish football is not on a par with that of England, Spain, Germany and Italy therefore attendance only averages around the 15,000 mark. A.I.K. are one of the top supported teams and the soccer team is part of the sports organisation that also houses the Ice Hockey team, a sport very well supported in Sweden.
The stadium is easily reached by metro by arriving at Solna Centrum and taking the five minute walk through the shopping centre. If travelling by car exit the E4/E20 at the Solna/Sundbyberg junction. Parking is available in the shopping centre or by using the adjacent side streets. Arlanda Airport is approximately thirty minutes away with budget airlines using Skavsta Airport near the city of Norrkopping which is a one hour coach journey away.
Match tickets can be purchased on the day for most games and are priced between 250-300 SEK. Prices tend to increase for Derby games and tickets can be bought in advance on line by visiting the Swedish Ticketmaster vendor. Tickets are considered expensive for this level of football but Sweden is an expensive country to live in.
There are two club shops located at each end of the stadium selling a wide range of club souvenirs. A match day programme is also sold priced at 20 SEK. One additional extra point awarded for all of the history of this beautiful old stadium.
Member Review by howler19 on Oct 12, 2012
Rasunda is an old stadium that is soon to be replaced and it's easy to see why. The stadium is very outdated and it's not in a charmy way. The atmosphere and the fans can be pretty loud but more in a disturbing and hostile way than as something that enhances your experience. Although the location is a little bit off it's not much trouble getting there by subway or car.
Stockholm, Sweden 113 60
46 8 20 30 97
Sollentuna, Sweden 191 47
08-517 264 00