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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The recent opening of the Tele2 Arena marked the last ever football game at the Söderstadion on the June 23, 2013. Several stadiums had existed on the site before the venue was built as recently as 1966. With a capacity of 16,197 the Söderstadion has also hosted the sport of Bandy including the World Championship Final in 1989. Ice hockey has also been played here. The stadium is cozy, but far from luxurious, and consists of four stands comprising of mainly bench seating. Like the Rasunda, the venue is shortly to be demolished and will be replaced by new developments that will extend the nearby Ericsson Globe complex.
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 food kiosks inside the stadium sell beer, coffee, and soft drinks. Crisps, sweets, hot dogs, and sandwiches are also available.
Two years ago, Stockholm had three old fashioned stadiums that hosted top flight football. Each of these had their own unique atmosphere, and the Söderstadion was no exception. Adequate enough to cater for Hammarby's crowds even when not full, the Söderstadion retained its own special atmosphere.
In addition to Stockholm's other tourist attractions, the Söderstadion is located next to the Ericsson Globe, an indoor arena which is the largest hemispherical building in the world and is mostly used for ice hockey and concerts. A funicular railway is also part of the feature offering excellent views of the city and the Söderstadion in particular. A shopping center also forms part of the complex, which includes cafes and fast food outlets where you can dine before a visit.
With a hard-core supporter base of around 8,000, Hammarby IF are the third-biggest football team in Stockholm. Their supporters are noisy, colorful, and certainly ensured that home games were played in a good atmosphere. Hopefully, they will bring this to their new home, which they will share with Djurgårdens IF.
The stadium, located in the Johanneshov district of the city, is best reached by metro, and both the Gullmarsplan and Globen stations are within a few minutes walk. Connections are available from Stockholm Central, which is little more than a few stops away. City buses also pass the stadium.
Hammarby currently plays in Sweden's second tier, so ticket prices are slightly cheaper than those at A.I.K. and Djurgårdens. Value for money will be expected to increase at the Tele2 Arena.
Match day programs are available both inside and outside of the stadium. As with the other Stockholm clubs, Hammarby has a good website, and club souvenirs are also on sale both in and around the grounds.
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