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Official Review by Sasa Grujic, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Szusza Ferenc Stadion is the home venue of Újpest FC, the oldest soccer club in Hungary, established in 1885. The club was named after the town where it was founded and which is now part of Budapest. The coat of arms is purple and white, the current colors of the club. Besides the year of establishment, the coat of arms contains an anchor, because the river transport was the main activity of the founders. Also in it are the letters UTK, which is an abbreviation of the full name of the club, Újpesti Torna Egylet. The soccer club is only a part of the sports association which includes other sports. It is no wonder the popularity of the soccer club is paramount though because it was 20 times the Hungarian champion and nine time winner of the National Cup.
The stadium, originally called Megyeri úti Stadion, was built in 1922. Since 2003, the stadium has received a new name after the once legendary player of Újpest, Szusza Ferenc Stadion.
It has been renovated several times. In 1968 the stadium received floodlights and the last major reconstruction was completed in 2001 when it became a modern stadium with 13,501 seats. Over the years the stadium has staged a number of international matches.
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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".
The stadium offers a variety of food and drink. However, despite the speed of service one food and beverage stand for each section is a little in order to avoid crowds at the halftime. UTE Büfé is a restaurant located below main stand, but it was not open during my most recent visit.
Although in all sections you have food and beverage, only the home fans D section is open with club merchandise. The food for sale is what you expect to find in the stadium, with mainly chips and hot dogs available for just a few dollars.
There is a variety of major and local soda brands, water, and wines, but certainly the most sold product is beer. Of course, beer is local and depending on the size costs roughly 1 or 2 dollars (100 HUF is equal to $0.36 USD).
This is a proper soccer stadium without running track where the events on the ground are very close to the viewer.
The stadium has a regular rectangular shape with four roofed all-seater stands which are predominantly purple in color. The main A stand is divided into sections per length on the lower and upper level, and then divided down the center by a tunnel for players above which is a VIP balcony. The opposite stand is B with C and D stand behind each goal. In the first two rows to the pitch fans are not allowed to sit down, but the pitch is so close even if you're sitting in higher positions. The scoreboard is not the last generation, but serves the purpose.
Announcements and overall sound quality at the stadium is great. At halftime there are some special activities with fans, and if you are a Újpest fan and have a birthday why not to make kick off? You have the chance here.
Although visibility is generally good at the stadium, there is a problem on the lower sector of A stand. Because of a tunnel in the middle it is not possible to see a complete throw line on that side without getting up.
Szusza Ferenc Stadion is located in the fourth district of Budapest, better known as Újpest, about half a mile from the banks of the river Danube. This is a residential area, which forms the northern border of Budapest.
At the corner of two streets, away from the entrance to the main stand, are a snack bar called Újpesti Foci Falatozó with hamburgers and sandwiches menu, and a few meters away is a tavern called Oázis Kisvendéglö.
In the street running parallel to the main stand is a country club.They also have rooms starting from $38. In addition to the soccer stadium there is also a sports hall where the Újpest ice hockey team plays. There is a bar in which you can enter during the soccer game, but only from the street and not from the stadium. If you are lucky you can see a hockey game during your visit.
About a mile away is Népsziget, a peninsula which deserves to be explored with a short walk.
Within two miles in the direction of the metro station Újpest-Központ on Szent István square is the Újpesti Piac (Marketplace). It is also a place where street vendors offer a bunch of local food, and worth visiting if you have time before the match.
Surrounding the stadium there is a great selection of hotels. Within two miles, besides the aforementioned country club, there are at least four hotels of various categories, with prices ranging from $50-$90.
Supporters of the club are mainly from the fourth district of Budapest, the eponymous Újpest and this affiliation is felt everywhere in the stands. Wearing purple scarves, shirts and tracksuits everyone helps to justify the nickname 'lilák' (purples).
Average attendance is around 3,300, including the biggest derby of Hungarian football against Ferencváros, which is low compared to the capacity of the stadium. Even the top match against Videoton which I attended in February of 2016 had only about 2,500 spectators.
Despite the small numbers, the ultras at D stand don't stop singing for the whole game. Also, regular fans are engaged throughout the whole match creating a sense of belonging to the club.
Regardless of the size of the city and the location about 8 km north of the city, in general the stadium is very accessible in terms of getting there.
From the Budapest airport you have bus line 200E to the Kőbánya-Kispest railway station and metro terminal. This is the starting point of the blue M3 metro line up to half an hour away to Újpest-Városkapu station from which you only have three stops with bus line 122, or you can take the 20 minute walk to the stadium. Also from the main railway station Keleti pályaudvar you have the red M2 metro line and after three stops you are at blue M3 metro line. Tickets for all public transportation are priced 350 HUF.
Parking is located behind B stand, but there is also a large parking area on the main street Váci út, just a short walk away. Traffic flow is blocked around the stadium (at least) during top category matches.
Tickets are available at the box offices of the stadium on the day of the match, but also are sold online with a discount of 200 HUF. As a foreigner, it is enough to have a passport to buy them. Ticket prices for a regular match range from 1,200 HUF for a seat behind the goal to 2,800 HUF for a seat in the upper level of the main stand. For top category matches, prices are increased to between 1,700 HUF to 3,300 HUF. A and B stands are for regular fans, D stand is for home ultras and C stand is intended for visiting supporters.
When you find yourself in one section, you can not switch to another. Flow to seating areas is easy everywhere, while the concourse over the seats in the B section is the only one with a view of the playing surface.
This is first division soccer that is well worth the cost.
For any seat in the stadium you will only have to pay from $4-$10 USD. For top category matches the tickets prices are little higher from $6-$12 USD, but they are still cheap compared to many other European countries. The match program is free of charge.
Cheap admission, with cheap food and beer in the stadium, and parking free of charge. There is no need to think about saving money for this experience.
One extra point for friendly staff from the first contact.
One more extra point for the fact that Újpest FC has played for 94 years in the same stadium and always at the top level in Hungarian football.
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1137 Pozsonyi Ut 14
Budapest, Hungary 1137
+36 20 823 0920
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