The Generali Arena, previously, and still commonly known as Letná Stadium (Czech: Stadion Letná [ˈstadjon ˈlɛtnaː]), is a football stadium in Prague. It is the home venue of Sparta Prague and occasionally hosts the matches of the Czech Republic national football team. It has capacity for 18,185 people.
|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 size||105×68 m|
|Renovated||1937, 1969, 1994|
|Sparta Prague (1917-present)|
Czech Republic national football team (selected matches)
The first wooden stadium at its location opened in 1921, in 1930 it hosted the third Women's World Games. The stadium burned in 1934 and a new main reinforced concrete grandstand was built in 1937. In 1969 all the other grandstands were replaced by reinforced concrete ones and capacity was extended to 35,880 spectators. The 1994 reconstruction into its present form saw Letná closed for nine months, till the stadium met all international standards. The running track was removed and all spectator places were now seated.
Letná 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, Letná 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 the Netherlands and Norway.
The playing surface was renovated in 2001, including the installation of a new under-soil heating and watering 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.
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 Letná against Spartak Moscow. It was, at the time, the biggest fine ever handed out by UEFA to a club for racist chanting.
Since 2002, the stadium have a heated turf. In 1994 the stadium was reopened after a complete modernization, all seats have since been seated and the stadium meets all required standards. In 2009, major changes took place at the stadium, barriers were removed, two video screens were installed and infrared radiators were installed to heat the "opposite" tribune.
Development of the nameEdit
- 1917-2003: Letná Stadium
- 2003-2007: Toyota Arena
- 2007-2009: AXA Arena
- 2009–present: Generali Arena
Non football activitiesEdit
Since the beginning the stadium has been used as a speaking tribune for events that took place in front of it, in/around the Milada Horaková street and the large "Letná Plain". During the Velvet revolution in 1989, were at the plain assebled some 800,000 people for anti-government demonstrations. The speaking tribune was later removed.
- "Generali Arena". AC Sparta Praha. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- "Historie stadionů Sparty Praha na místě stávajícího stadionu". sparta.cz. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Bouc, Frantisek (26 April 1995). "Sparta Praha's Stadium Is '12th Man' for Czech Soccer". Prague Post. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Bouc, Frantisek (9 October 1996). "Czech soccer players make a pitch for World Cup '98". Prague Post. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. 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 (28 November 2001). "Racist fans worry Sparta". Prague Post. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "Křetínský překope stadion Sparty a postaví obchodní centrum". E15.cz.