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  • James Clotfelter

Ďolíček - Bohemians 1905


Photos by James Clotfelter, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

Ďolíček Vrshovicka 1489/31 Praha 10 101 00 Prague

Year Opened: 1932 Capacity: 6,300

 

What Soccer Should Be

The Ďolíček, home of Bohemians 1905 since 1932. It originally opened with a capacity of around 18,000, but a turbulent history has cut it to 6,300 today. Throughout its lifetime the Ďolíček has seen the highs and lows that come with sports and the community it resides in. The resounding history that is represented on its walls represents what soccer can mean to a neighborhood, and just why we love it so much. 


Food & Beverage 3

The food and beverage at the stadium are surprisingly good for a simple ground like the Ďolíček. Each matchday the Bohieman's Instagram account posts the night's menu and what concessions are to be offered at the main stand. Most concession stands are food trucks that inhabit the concourse on the other side of the primary gate.


As expected with most European stadiums sausage is a common item, in addition to the anticipated, Bohemians offered higher grade items like pulled pork, meatloaf, and other meaty dinner items. Our recommendation to you would be the pulled pork and the fried cheese as your side, and it will run you less than $7 in total. Beer is available on tap at every concession spot and comes in a nice plastic souvenir cup with a handle. You can expect basic stadium sodas like Coca-Cola and Sprite at every spot you visit.


The prices for all concession items are very cheap when compared to stadiums in the United States, and credit cards are accepted. Just be sure to check out the Instagram before the match to see if anything new is being offered during your attended match.


Atmosphere 3

The Ďolíček is a classic soccer ground, it's small, has history, and is the heartbeat of its community. The stadium is divided into four different stands, the main stand on the west side of the stadium, the ultras terrance resides to the north of the stadium, and finally section C along with the away end shares the sideline opposite the main stand.



The exterior of the stadium and its interior are covered by murals depicting the team's history and triumphs. Section C runs from the goal line to midfield and is only three rows high, it does not have a concourse, so the fans that occupy this section are the ones that do not wish for anything else but to watch the match. As a nonlocal, I do not recommend sitting here as sightlines can be obstructed and there is one small concession stand that is cash only.


We originally had tickets at the midfield part of this section, and one of our seats was under the stand for the broadcast camera, more on that later. I urge you to cough up the extra $5 and sit in the main stand. This comes with unobstructed sightlines, an overhead canopy, folding seats, the team store, full restrooms, and a concourse with many food options.


As I said before, we were originally sitting with an inaccessible seat in section C, but thanks to the extremely generous and helpful Bohemians staff, we were able to pick up two unused tickets to the VIP Silver in the main stand, which is one of two hospitality sections. This area comes with a private room under the stands with free food and drink, with seats on the brink of the attacking third. The other hospitality offered is VIP gold, which comes with a private room underneath the main concourse and tickets in the main stand. 


The stadium features two scoreboards, on large TV screen in the corner opposite of the ultras, and an ancient scoreboard behind the ultras. Nothing gets exhibited on the TV screen as it serves as a second clock and score display. But you are not coming here for fancy stadium amenities, the Ďolíček provides the traditional soccer atmosphere that makes this sport great.


It is not monopolized by greedy ownership or bandwagon fans, it is about the people and the neighborhood it resides in, and it feels pure. No matter what is happening on the pitch, the ultras are loud and passionate, the fans in the main stand are welcoming and happy, and the Ďolíček is a classic ground. 


Neighborhood 4

Prague is a city that has something for everyone, after all, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Prague is numbered into different districts, Prague 1, 2… and so on. The city center is considered Prague 1, and the districts expand from there. The most popular districts in terms of tourism will be Prague 1, 2, 3, and 7.


These districts are where popular attractions such as Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Town Square, Welshness Square, the National Museum, and many others can be found. I would find a hostel or hotel close to the city center for the best experience. Hotel Zlata Vaha is a great hotel option that is priced at about $70 a night. Generally speaking, hotels will cost between $50-$90 depending on when you are visiting. If you are riding solo numerous hostels can be found for $10-$25 a night. 


The Ďolíček is in a residential neighborhood, but it is a short 15-minute tram ride to the city center which is where all of the pre and post-game options are. Prague is also extremely walkable if you prefer that option rather than public transport. Food options before the game are limitless, so you should do a little research on where to eat to find something that suits your liking, but if I had to point you in a specific direction, I would recommend Johnny’s Pizza Bar for arguably the best pizza in Prague, Lokal Doluhaaa as a great local joint for meat and drinks, or Den Noc as a breakfast bistro. Prague hosts four other soccer clubs (Sparta, Slavia, Dulka, and Viktoria Zernov) multiple hockey teams (the most notable being Sparta HC), and the O2 arena is a popular concert venue.


Fans 4

On the outside looking in, Bohemians 1905 fans might seem like an average fanbase. They are overshadowed by the big clubs they share the city with (Sparta and Slavia), their stadium is tiny and aged, and they are just not who you think of when you think about teams in Prague. However, the history of this fanbase encapsulates what a team can mean to a community.


As their name suggests, the club was founded in 1905, and it has played an integral part in the neighborhood community since then. The best run of history was in 1982 when the club made it to the UEFA Cup semi-final after winning the Czech first division. Then a string of mediocracy left the club stuck in terms of success, but they stayed afloat in the first division, for the most part. However, in 2005 disaster struck. The club faced financial insolvency and was forced to be relegated to the third division of Czech soccer.


On the brink of the club being shut down for good, the supporters got together to pay off the club’s debts and in doing so, they saved their community's club, and are the reason the Bohemians find themselves in the first division today. 


Nowadays, the fans continue to show up for their team. The Ďolíček is constantly around its small capacity, but around capacity, nonetheless. The fans were welcoming and were fun to talk to as a foreigner visiting their club. They are passionate but are cognizant that they are not a top club in the league. The ultras are loud and sing the club's songs throughout the match. During the second half, they fired off an impressive green pyro display. At the end of the day, no matter what happens, this fanbase is proud to be represented by their club. 


Access 3

The Ďolíček is an easy ground to get to. Two different tram lines run to the stadium, and the line to the Old Town takes about 15 minutes. The stop is even labeled “Bohemians”, so there is no chance you miss your stop. As mentioned before, I highly recommend, maybe even demand you sit on the main stand. The main stand gate is next to the train stop so it is a short crosswalk away. With that being said, make sure you are entering the right gate. The gate name and location can be found on your ticket if you purchase them through Ticketportal.


The concourse here is small and easy to maneuver, note that the concourse for the main stand runs only along the main stand. Once you get through the turnstiles, the “concourse”, better described as a lot, is what lies beyond the turnstiles. Here can be found the concession stands, picnic tables, restrooms, and restrooms. From here you walk up to a catwalk that spans across the main stand.


This is how you get access to your seat and where you can find the quaint team store. Card is accepted throughout the concourse and English is widely spoken by the staff. The ultras section is just for ultras, and section “c” does not have a concourse and possesses a cash-only concession stand. The main stand is where every Bohemians 1905 newcomer should sit for the best experience.


Return on Investment 4

Being on par with much of the Czech Republic, not including tourist traps, the return on investment is very high. Tickets to the main stand start at 300czk which equates to about $13. In terms of hospitality, VIP Silver tickets are 800czk ($36) and VIP Gold tickets are 2000czk ($90). Food is priced anywhere between $2-$5 depending on what suits your fancy. Sausage stands as the cheapest meal, and items like pulled pork are a little more expensive. Beer is around $2.50. Public transportation for Prague is very cheap and starts from just under $2 for a 30-minute ticket. Other public transport tickets offered are 90 minutes, 24 hours, and 72 hours.


Extras 4

The stadium itself does not offer any outstanding extras aside from the beautiful murals on its walls, but I must give credit where credit is due to the staff. Being the ill-informed foreigner I was, I bought tickets to section c. This is where the TV broadcast camera is set up. And because there is not a high advantage point on this side of the field, they built a stand for the camera.


This stand happened to be right above the seat that I purchased. With not being able to access my seat because of the camera platform, I was ready to purchase completely different tickets for the main stand at the box office, but I didn’t know if the game was sold out yet. I was able to talk to a ticket staff member at the gate we entered about my situation. In great English, he was more than happy to help and informed me that I didn’t have to buy a completely new ticket, but I could ask to trade in the ticket for a new one and pay the difference. I did not know that was an option, so this was great news to me.


As I exited to walk around to the main stand to trade my ticket, I walked to the wrong ticket booth. However, at this tent were two staffers, who also spoke English, and as I tried to describe my situation and what I was told about trading in a ticket, instead, they offered me an unused VIP Silver ticket that was reserved for a friend who couldn’t make it. I tried to pay for the ticket but they refused and apologized for the inconvenience. So again, I would like to give a huge thank you to the staff of Bohemians who were very helpful as I was a Ďolíček rookie making rookie mistakes, mistakes that will not be made by you the reader. 


Final Thoughts

This stadium is what soccer really should be. It is worth a visit while in Prague.

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