Sweden: Pearl of Stockholm

Written by De Twaalfde Man

In the modern football world lots of authentic stadiums disappear or left for Mother Nature. In the Swedish capital they are proud of their cultural football heritage. For the Olympic Summer Games in 1912 they opened this beautiful stadium. Since then it is mainly used as football ground. Despite Djurgårdens IF “left” in 2013 it is far from being a lost ground. This the Pearl of Stockholm!

Originally the stadium capacity was 20.000 people. Between the characteristic towers there was a stand with two levels. After the Olympics they reduced it to just one level and the stadium got a capacity of almost 14.500 people.

Olympic opening ceremony in 2012

Home of Djurgårdens IF

AIK was the first team to name the stadium their home. They played here until 1936 when they moved to the area what is called Solna now. Djurgårdens IF took over and played their home games for 77 years in Stockholms Stadium.

In 2013 they moved to the brand new Tele2 Arena as it has all modern facilities and a capacity for 30.000 football fans. They share this stadium with their rival Hammarby IF. But they never abandoned the stadium completely. Nowadays they still use office spaces inside and it’s the home ground of their Women’s football team.

Despite the reduced capacity they were still able to set a record attendance in 1946. A total of 21.995 football fans watched the match against arch rivals AIK. The stadium is also used for athletics. It holds the record for the most broken world records in the existence. Until 2008 a whopping 83 records were broken.

Hardly changed

The stadium is still looking like the ground from 1912. In the past century it hardly changed. It has beautiful wooden benches all around the stands, wooden pilars and colorful artwork. Around the stadium you still find an authentic phone booth, the original bar underneath the stands and the iron turnstiles. Over the years they only added floodlights. For two of them they used the towers of the stadium.

As a stadium madman this is simply perfect. A beautiful building with so many details everywhere. Visiting this ground will easily cost you a couple of hours. Your camera will go crazy, so take a spare battery. It’s also great to see the respect the Swedish have for this monument. As soon as you enter it’s completely spotless. No vandalism or rubbish.

Luckily we can enjoy this stadium for years to come. If Stockholm is awarded the Olympic Winter Games of 2026, the ground will be used for the Big Air Snowboarding competition. Personally I am hoping a big football match will be played here with the stands packed.

About the author

De Twaalfde Man

Passionate about football. Loves the game, especially al that happens around the pitch. Prefers to attend matches between the fanatics, the ultras, to experience football how it should be and if possible capture the passion on pictures telling the story. Crazy about authentic football culture, old stadiums and has a soft spot for the Balkans. Travels all around Europe and has been named "derby specialist" bij Panenka Magazine.

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