Wisła Stadium

Stadion Miejski im. Henryka Reymana is a football-specific stadium in Kraków, Poland. It is currently used as home ground by Wisła Kraków. The stadium holds 33,268 spectators and was built in 1953. Currently it is under redevelopment and is a reserve venue for the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. The address of the stadium is Kraków, ul. Reymonta 22.

History
Previous grounds of Wisła Kraków

The current stadium is 3rd home of the Wisła Kraków team. The first was about 500 m away from the current location in the Oleandry area and it burned down in 1914, inaugurated with a 3:2 win over Czarni Lwów. That stadium was never finished and the World War I left only rubble of the ground. In 1922 Wisła moved to a new stadium in the same area. This one survived the World War II, but couldn't cope with post-war popularity of football.

Current stadium

This is why in 1953 the club moved to a new ground. It was located just next to the former one, in the same sports and leisure complex. It was a recently finished speedway track with a football pitch inside. New stands were created on artificial hills. There were two of them on both sides of the pitch- each crescent-shaped. At the ends columns were raised. The stadium could then accept around 35,000 fans.

The '80s

The stadium was never enlarged. However some changes took place- the main stand was redeveloped and its capacity dropped significantly- sections in the middle of the pitch have simply been removed, the remaining sections have been changed to concrete-construction stand. The opposite stand was also slightly reduced by cutting off "edges" of the crescent- making it rectangular.

The Golden Era

Not an official name of the period. It refers to the club take-over by Polish millionaire Bogusław Cupiał that took place in late 1990s. The club started investing in improving the ground. First the empty spot in the main stand was filled with a VIP section. Later- plastic seats were installed in the whole stadium, making it one of the first all-seater stadiums in Poland with total capacity of the two existing stands reaching around 9,500 seats. In 2002 the stadium floodlights were installed, on four independent masts on the edges of the pitch. The new investment copes UEFA's requirements for stadium artificial lighting. In 2003 Wisła already had an under-soil heating system, first ever to be installed in Poland. Its construction was a consequence of problems with hosting UEFA Cup home games with Lazio in February 2003. Early in 2004 a new - temporary covered stand was raised at the North side of the stadium (behind Northern goal). Its capacity reached 1,000 seats and it had a steel construction. Its erection was forced by PZPN's requirement for each stadium of the Orange Ekstraklasa to have at least 1,000 covered seats.

Stadium redevelopment

Since the club take-over the new stadium issue was raised. In 1997 Kraków's well known architect presented a design of future Wisła Kraków stadium. Its capacity was set at 25,500 seats with cost set at 92mln PLN. However it took years to start construction. Until 2004, when the construction of the South Stand started, the concept changed several times with key features remaining the same. Most of the discussion was devoted to corners, which in the final version were decided to be left with only the floodlight masts. Four detached stands with a pavilon for the media in one corner, behind the floodlight mast. The construction couldn't start because of insufficient funds and problems with land ownership. The site where the stadium is located was given back to the municipal authorities by its former user- the Police in 2004. After that the construction finally started.

South Stand

Before this investment the place was empty with only some 500 temporary guest section existing. Construction on the site started in November 2004 with striker Maciej Żurawski digging the first shovel. For navigating and organisational reasons the Stand was called simply "Sektor E" as A and B are placed on the Main Stand, C is the East and D was the temporary North Stand. Therefore, E is simply the next letter in the alphabet. The Stand, divided into 5 sections (from E1 to E5, 32 rows each), can hold 5,497 (5,690 were planned, but some seats were removed as a buffer section between home and away fans). First supporters entered the stand when it was half-finished in August 2005, for the game against Panathinaikos in Champions League qualifiers. Stand's cost was estimated at 34mln PLN. In the end, this number was exceeded by 3mln.

So far the construction isn't fully finished, the space underneath the terrace still has to be filled with catering facilities, club offices and health facilities inside. Those will be used by the club's officials and players. In August 2007 turnstiles and passageways through the stand were opened. Before, fans had to get around the stand to enter it.

The away fans are seated in part of this stand.

In June 2007 the club announced its will to create a football pub in this stand after all works are done.

Unfortunately the E Stand became known for design errors. The construction company found over 100 errors of different kind, which became a big issue in the club's policy towards the city of Kraków, which gave away the designing to Wojciech Obtułowicz without any competition or bidding procedures. In fact, after two stands being almost completed, the architect still remains without any contract for the design.

North Stand

Construction on this part of the stadium, which will be similar to the existing South Stand, started in 2006 and will be definitively finished June 30, 2008. It holds 5,690 seats which in Spring 2008 will become the new official fanatic section. Especially for the supporters, the middle sections have a white star symbol created of blue, red and white seats. Cost at 35mln PLN. Inauguration (first fans allowed in the unfinished building) of this stand is planned for the Wisla-Lech fixture on September 1, 2007.

East Stand

Photo shows the current hill construction with two historical columns, new East Stand is to be built soon with construction on current stand's demolition starting in late Autumn 2007. The plan hasn't got sufficient funding granted yet, so it is uncertain. Detailed project of this stand is under-way and so is the cost estimation. Most probably it will have similar construction to the South and North stands, but will be slightly larger (40 rows of seats instead of 32). It is supposed to hold up to 8,000 fans. Its cost is estimated at some 75mln PLN. Final design should be known at the end of the year 2007.

West Stand

Main Stand- will be built as the last one. The current stand will be demolished and a new steel and concrete construction will be raised. The work commencement date is yet to be declared, the construction will end in 2010, just as UEFA requires. The stand will have 32 rows of seats just as South and North ones, but above the normal seats there will be a row of VIP boxes which will make this Stand slightly higher than the ones behind the goals and will have an equal height to the East Stand. The roof construction of both East and West Stands will carry the new floodlighting system, current masts will be removed.

Media building

A special building is planned for the media, to hold press conferences, player presentations, etc. It will be located in the South-western corner of the stadium. Cost was estimated at some 5mln PLN, but the only bidding company set their estimates at 12mln. This proposition was accepted. Construction has big delays, started on September 3, 2007, to end in mid-December 2007.

Corners

With one corner being used for the media building, the other three will be used to increase capacity of the stadium to the minimum set by UEFA. This will be the last part of the construction process. Each corner stand will have 1,600 seats and will be fitted to the existing stands.

Other ideas

In 1999 there was an idea of a joint stadium for Wisła and Cracovia with capacity of some 40 000 seats, however it was dropped due to high antagonism of the city's club supporters. The planned site was near both clubs'c current grounds, in the Cichy Kącik area.

The world-famous HOK Sport company visited the stadium site in 2001 and estimated it could design a stadium fulfilling UEFA requirements with a capacity around 30,000. Its cost was set at some 120mln PLN. The cost was described as too high and the proposition was dropped.

Euro 2012

Kraków is a reserve city for the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Wisła Stadium is the planned venue in the city, its design will probably change to match all requirements set by UEFA for host stadiums. Final design should be known by the end of May 2008. The city authorities are considering installing a permanent roof over the whole stadium and pitch to help the city compete for the place in the list of host cities. Capacity of the stadium is now planned at least 33,680.

Stadium records
Attendance

The capacity was enough for most games, but was several times exceeded. In 1976 Wisła Kraków was playing Celtic Glasgow in UEFA Cup. After the team having drawn the first game away 2:2, crowds were flocking to see Wisła fight with the Bhoys on September 29. The media and fans present at the game say of approximately 45 000 spectators, however the precise number is unknown. This game (won 2:0) holds the stadium's record of attendance. Later on there were several games when number of fans exceeded official capacity, but none of them brought as many supporters.

Biggest crowds of the season summary:

  • 2010/2011: 24:000 (Wisła Kraków 0:2 Polonia Warszawa, Ekstraklasa, 29.05.2011)
  • 2008/2009: 15,600 (Wisła Kraków 2:0 Śląsk Wrocław, Ekstraklasa, 30.05.2009)
  • 2007/2008: 21,000 (Wisła Kraków 1:0 Legia Warszawa, Ekstraklasa, 28.10.2007)
  • 2006/2007: 15,000 (Wisła Kraków 3:0 Cracovia, Ekstraklasa, 28.10.2006)
  • 2005/2006: 14,000 (Wisła Kraków 0:0 Legia Warszawa, Ekstraklasa, 27.11.2005)
  • 2004/2005: 12,000 (Wisła Kraków 0:2 Real Madrid, Champions League qualifiers, 11.08.2004)
  • 2003/2004: 9,500 (Wisła Kraków 0:1 Anderlecht Brussels, Champions League qualifiers, 26.08.2003)
  • 2002/2003: 10,000 (Wisła Kraków 1:1 FC Schalke 04, UEFA Cup 3rd round, 28.11.2002)
  • 2001/2002: 10,000 (Wisła Kraków 4:1 Polonia Warszawa, Ekstraklasa, 19.04.2002)
  • 2000/2001: 10,000 (Wisła Kraków 1:2 Pogoń Szczecin, Ekstraklasa, 19.08.2000)
  • 1999/2000: 10,000 (Wisła Kraków 1:1 Legia Warszawa, Ekstraklasa, 07.11.1999)
Football

Worth noticing, Wisła holds the all-time record for European football of home games without a loss in a row. On 16 September 2001 Wisła lost to KSZO Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski and the next loss in the league after that took place on 11 November 2006 when GKS Bełchatów won 4:2. This game settled the number of matches without a loss at 73, beating the former Polish record of Legia Warszawa (48)!

Coordinates: 50°3′49″N 19°54′43″E / 50.06361°N 19.91194°E / 50.06361; 19.91194

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