|Former names||Letná Stadium (1917-2003)
Toyota arena (2003-2007)
AXA Arena (2007-2009)
|Location||Milady Horákové 1066/98
|Owner||AC Sparta Praha fotbal, a.s.|
|Field dimensions||105×68 m|
|Czech Republic national football team
The Generali Arena (previously known as Letná Stadium) is a football stadium in Prague. It is the home venue of Sparta Prague and often the home stadium of the Czech Republic national football team. It holds 19,784 people.
The first stadium on the place opened in 1921, the current stadium was built in 1969 and reconstructed in 1994. The 1994 reconstruction, 25 years after the stadium was first opened, saw Letna closed for nine months as the running track was removed. The playing surface was renovated in 2001, including the installation of a new under-soil heating system and grass from Germany. This necessitated Sparta playing league matches at the end of the 2000–01 season at the nearby Stadion Evžena Rošického.
Letna has frequently hosted international matches, in October 1989 the venue saw a crowd of 34,000 watch home side Czechoslovakia defeat Switzerland in a qualifying match for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Letna continued as an international stadium, hosting matches of the Czech Republic national football team from 1995, including qualification matches for UEFA Euro 1996, in which the Czechs defeated Holland and Norway.
Sparta was hit by a 55,000 CHF fine from European football governing body UEFA in 2001 following racist slurs from the crowd targeted at black Brazilian Luis Robson in a UEFA Champions League match at Letna against Spartak Moscow. It was, at the time, the biggest fine ever handed out by UEFA to a club for racist chanting.
Originally known as Letná Stadium (Letenský stadion), the stadium took the name Toyota arena after a sponsorship deal in 2003. Later AXA took over naming rights, in 2007, before it was named after its current sponsor, Generali in 2009.
Non football activities
Since the beginning the stadium has been used as a tribune for events that took place in/around the Milada Horaková street and the large "Letenská pláň" behind it. During the Velvet revolution in 1989 there were some 800,000 people assembled here for various anti-government demonstrations.
- Bouc, Frantisek (26 April 1995). "Sparta Praha's Stadium Is '12th Man' for Czech Soccer". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "Na Letné bude trávník z Německa" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 13 June 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "Sparta dohraje závěr ligy na Strahově" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Bouc, Frantisek (9 October 1996). "Czech soccer players make a pitch for World Cup '98". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Bouc, Frantisek (28 November 2001). "Racist fans worry Sparta". Prague Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "Sparta bude mít od léta nový název stadionu" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "Stadion Sparty se přejmenuje na AXA Arenu" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "Fanoušci Sparty se na fotbal už nemusí dívat přes ploty" (in Czech). idnes.cz. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- Generali Arena at the official AC Sparta Prague website (Czech)
- Photo gallery and data at Erlebnis-stadion.de