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Groupama Aréna is a multi-purpose stadium in Budapest, Hungary and the home of Ferencvárosi TC.[1][2] With a capacity of 22,000, Groupama Arena was for a time the largest stadium in Hungary (between the demolition of the larger Ferenc Puskás Stadium in 2017 and the opening of the Puskás Aréna in November 2019). Groupama lies on the grounds of the former Flórián Albert Stadium, the club's previous home, which was demolished in 2013.

Groupama Aréna
Groupama Aréna (inside).jpg
Full nameGroupama Aréna
LocationBudapest, Hungary
OwnerHungarian State
OperatorLagardère Group
Executive suites34 skybox
Capacity22,000
Record attendance22,060 (sport)
Hungary Hungary 0–0 Romania Romania
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
SurfaceGrass
Field
Construction
Broke ground27 March 2013
Built2013–14
Opened10 August 2014
Construction costc. 13,5 billion HUF
(€40 million)
ArchitectÁgnes Streit
Szabolcs Kormos
Main contractorsMarket Építő Zrt.
Tenants
Ferencváros (2014–present)
Hungary national football team (2014–2019)
MOL Vidi FC (2018) (European competitions matches)
Website
www.groupamaarena.com

HistoryEdit

PlanningEdit

Since 1911, Ferencváros had played their home games at Stadion Albert Flórián, originally named Üllői úti Stadion. The stadium had had a major upgrade from 1971 to 1974, and in the 21st century the club desired a stadium with an expanded capacity. Reconstruction of Stadion Albert Flórián was rejected for financial reasons, and plans to demolish the stadium and replace it with an entirely new structure were presented at a press conference in April 2012 by Gábor Kubatov, the president of Ferencváros. The proposed capacity of 22,600 would make it the second biggest stadium in Hungary.

The new stadium would be reorientated 90° and closer to Gyáli út, with a pitch 10 cm below ground level. Corporate hospitality, a restaurant, shop and museum were all planned, along with expanded changing facilities.[3]

ConstructionEdit

 
The statue of Ballon d'Or-winner Flórián Albert in front of the main entrance

Market építő Zrt won the tender to construct the stadium, with a projected cost of 13.5 billion Ft. Construction started on 28 March 2013,[4] with an estimated completion time of autumn 2014.[5]

On 24 May 2013, Balázs Fürjes, MP of the Hungarian Parliament and person responsible for the investment, announced that the stadium would be finished on time. The construction of the new stadium is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014. In 2013 there will be 5,4 billion HUF available for the project and 8,1 billion HUF in 2014. Mihály Varga, minister of national economy of Hungary, said that the sale of the estate, which will be gained by rotating the stadium by 90°, will cover the expenses of the stadium. If the construction is not completed on time, the constructor company (Market Épitő Zrt.) will have to pay 65 million HUF daily.[6]

Melinda Várkonyi said that an 82-millimetre grenade was found at the building site of the new stadium. Allegedly the shell originates from a Soviet grenade launcher from the Second World War.[7]

On 3 October 2013, Balázs Fürjes, MP of the Hungarian Parliament, said that the construction of the stadium is of record speed. It was quite sure that the club could start the 2014–15 Hungarian League season in the new stadium. The Ferencváros club centre was opened, where the fans of the club can take a look at the plans of the new stadium or a 3D film can be watched about the future stadium. Balázs Fürjes also pointed out that the new stadium will be a multi-purpose stadium where concerts, conferences, cultural events can be held apart from association football matches. He also mentioned that the elements of the old Albert stadium will be used for the construction of the new stadium. Therefore, it is a green investment for two reasons: for the colours of the club, and for the eco-friendly construction. The steel structure, which weighs 2800 tons, was made in Kecskemét while the concrete structure, which is 25,000 cubic metres, was made in Dunaújváros. The construction of the new stadium gives jobs for almost 2000 blue-collar workers.[8]

On 17 January 2014, new photos about the new stadium were released on the Facebook site of the Albert Stadium.[9]

On 18 April 2014, it was announced that a 3-metre-tall statue of Ferencváros Ballon d'Or winner Flórián Albert will be erected in front of the main entrance. Sándor Kligl, sculptor and artist, was asked to make the bronze statue. The artist also said that he saw playing the Ferencváros legend live and it was worth going to the stadium just because of him. He was commissioned with many different tasks but this has been the most special one in his life. Junior Flórián Albert said that it was a moving moment to look at his father statue.[10]

In April 2014, Lagardère Unlimited Stadium Solutions, the dedicated agency for stadia and arena operations owned by Lagardère Unlimited, signed a long-term naming right contract between the Groupama Arena and French insurer Groupama. The deal includes the operation, management and marketing of the new arena. Lagardère Unlimited Stadium Solutions is currently involved in consulting, operations and marketing services in several stadiums worldwide, including Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, Imtech Arena in Hamburg and two stadiums in Brazil. On 2 July 2014, it was announced that the name of the new stadium will be Groupama Arena.

 
The Springer statue, the first president of Ferencváros

On 7 July 2014, it was announced that the first kick would be executed by Ferencváros legend, Ferenc Rudas.[11]

It was revealed that one of the halls will be named after former Ferencváros and Barcelona legend László Kubala who played for Ferencváros between 1945 and 1946 and scored 33 goals in 50 matches.[12][13]

On 4 August 2014, the first unofficial match was played at the stadium in front of 6,500 spectators. Ferencváros old-boys team including Szeiler, Dzurják, Lipcsei, Telek, and Lisztes hosted their arch-rival Újpest old-boys including Kovács, Szlezák, Fehér, Egressy, and Mészöly. The final result was 6–5 to Újpest. The tickets for free those supporters who purchased season tickets before the match and for the workers and their relatives who contributed to the construction of the new stadium.[14]

On 10 August 2014, Ferencváros played the opening match against Chelsea F.C.. The first goal at the new stadium was scored by Ferencváros Legened, Zoltán Gera in the 17th minute. However, in the second half Ramires (51st minute) and Fàbregas scored (81st minute) which resulted the 2–1 defeat at the new stadium for the home side.[15][16][17]

On 10 August 2014, around 2,500 spectators belonging to the B Közép organised an alternative match at the stadium of BKV Előre SC in protest against the high entrance fees earmarked by the leadership of Ferencváros, the entrance security checks, and that Chelsea would play the opening match against Ferencváros and not the Austrian archrival Rapid Wien. The two teams included the supporters of Ferencváros and Rapid Wien.[18]

On 24 August 2014, the first Hungarian League match was played at the stadium. Ferencváros beat Nyíregyháza 3–1. The first goal was scored by Busai in the 13th minute.[19]

On 7 September 2014, Hungary played their first match at the stadium against Northern Ireland. The UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier ended with a 2–1 away victory.[20]

On 14 November 2014, Hungary won their first match at the new stadium by beating Finland 1–0 thanks to Gera's 84th-minute goal in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier.[21]

On 9 July 2015, Ferencváros played their first international match at the Groupama Arena against the Dutch Go Ahead Eagles in the second leg of the first qualifying round of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League. The match was won by Ferencváros by 4–1.[22]

On 20 May 2016 the first non-UEFA member was hosted in the stadium when Hungary played against Ivory Coast in a goalless friendly tier.[23]

On 22 September 2017, it was announced that the first CONCACAF member to play at the stadium will be national team of Costa Rica.[24]

The final of the 2018–19 UEFA Women's Champions League was held at the stadium on 18 May 2019.[25]

Sport arenaEdit

The Groupama Arena was categorised as a Category 4 facility by the UEFA which is suitable for Nemzeti Bajnokság I, Magyar Kupa, UEFA European Championship qualifying, FIFA World Cup qualification, UEFA Champions League group stage and quarter-final. In addition, the stadium can host FIFA U-17 World Cup and U21 FIFA U20 World Cup.[26]

The capacity of the arena is 23,800 for Nemzeti Bajnokság I and Magyar Kupa matches and 22,000 for UEFA and FIFA matches. The difference is due to the fact that there are standing stands in the B-közép and the visitors sector.[27] The area of the stadium is 19,042 square metres, including the pitch it is 28,746.5 square metres. The main building has four floors, and under it there is a three-level garage which can host 354 vehicles. There is a car park in front of the main building which can host 106 cars. Next to the stadium there is also a parking lot which can host 405 cars.[28]

The construction took 14 months. During the construction 60 000 cubic metre was moved. The amount of the concrete used in the construction was 24 492 cubic metre, while the steel structure was 2708 tons. The steel structure was manufactured in Kecskemét, while the pre-fabricated concrete was made in Dunaújváros.[29]

Construction costsEdit

The Groupama Arena cost 53.3 million USD. The price per seat was 1,996 USD. In 2014, the arena was the 5th cost-per-sit building and 6th by price. Nagyerdei Stadion of Debrecen overtook the Groupama Arena in cost, but not in cost-per-sit.[30]

TenantsEdit

Székesfehérvár-based MOL Vidi FC played their home matches of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage against BATE Borisov, PAOK FC, and Chelsea F.C. in the Groupama Aréna due to the reconstruction of Sóstói Stadion.

MusicEdit

Besides football, Groupama can be configured to hold many other events, particularly major concerts but also private events like weddings and conferences. The first concert at the new stadium has been given by Depeche Mode on 22 May 2017.

ConcertsEdit

Facilities and innovationsEdit

Fradi MuseumEdit

On 7 August 2014, The Fradi Museum was opened. The visitors to the museum can get acquainted with the history of Ferencváros. Cups, trophies and flags can be seen at the museum such as Flórián Albert's 1967 Ballon d'Or, the trophy of the 1937 Mitropa Cup, Tibor Nyilasi's Silver shoe, and the trophy of the 1965 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final along with many other trophies and cups in connection with the club can be seen.[31]

Cashless cateringEdit

The Cashless catering system is used in the premises of the entire stadium.[32]

Vascular technologyEdit

The arena has been the first stadium in Hungary where vein matching or vascular technology has been installed.

TransportEdit

Groupama Arena is located in the ninth district of Budapest, Hungary. The arena can be approached by Budapest Metro Line 3. The nearest Metro station is called Népliget.

Service Station/Stop Line/Route Walking distance from Groupama Arena
Budapest Metro     Népliget Blue 100 m 2 mins
Budapest tram Népliget 1 100 m 2 mins
Budapest Bus Népliget 254E
901
914
914A
918
937
950
100 m 2 mins

Milestone matchesEdit

Magyar Kupa finalsEdit

National team matchesEdit

Note:

StatisticsEdit

As of 24 March 2019.

Match P W D L GD
Qualifier 15 10 2 3 24–11
Friendly 9 1 2 6 6–14
Total 24 11 4 9 30–25

Top-scorer:   Ádám Szalai (7 goals)

Avarage attendancesEdit

As of 19 May 2019

This table includes only domestic league matches.

Season Ferencvárosi TC Ref
Division GP Average Change Highest Gate Lowest Gate
2014–15 NB I 15 8,384 21,217 vs Újpest 3,465 vs Pápa [34]
2015–16 NB I 17 7,737 −7.7% 17,489 vs Újpest 4,858 vs Puskás Akadémia [35]
2016–17 NB I 17 6,721 −13.1% 11,760 vs Újpest 4,754 vs MTK Budapest [36]
2017–18 NB I 17 9,066 +34.9% 19,125 vs Debrecen 4,911 vs Szombathelyi Haladás [37]
2018–19 NB I 17 10,715 +18.1% 20,675 vs Újpest 6,771 vs Puskás Akadémia [38]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Groupama Aréna". Groupama Arena Official Website. 4 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Groupama Arena". Stadiumdb.com. 4 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Grandiózus célok a Fradinál: bemutatták az új Albert-stadion terveit – fotók". Nemzeti Sport. 13 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Építkezés után bontás: holnap leteszik az új Fradi-stadion alapkövét". Nemzeti Sport. 27 March 2013.
  5. ^ "FTC: közel 13.5 milliárd forintért építik fel a Fradi új stadionját". Nemzeti Sport. 19 March 2013.
  6. ^ "FTC: Időben elkészül az új Albert-stadion – Fürjes". Nemzeti Sport. 25 May 2013.
  7. ^ "FTC: gránátot találtak az Albert-stadion bontása közben". Nemzeti Sport. 31 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Rekordsebességgel épül az új FTC-stadion". Nemzeti Sport. 3 October 2013.
  9. ^ "FTC: épül-szépül a zöld-fehérek új stadionja – fotók". Nemzeti Sport. 17 January 2014.
  10. ^ "FTC: az új stadion előtt szobrot állítanak Albertről – fotó". Nemzeti Sport. 17 January 2014.
  11. ^ "FTC: egy legenda végzi el a kezdőrúgást a Chelsea ellen". Nemzeti Sport. 7 July 2014.
  12. ^ "FTC: Barca-legendáról nevezik el az új stadion egyik termét". Nemzeti Sport. 27 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Ferencváros no olvida a Kubala". Mundo Deportivo. 27 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Fradi: 11 gól és Újpest-siker az új stadion főpróbáján". Nemzeti Sport. 4 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Geráé az első gól, a Chelsea-é a győzelem az új Fradi-stadionban". Nemzeti Sport. 10 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Ferencváros 1–2 Chelsea". Chelsea. 10 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Didier Drogba: Chelsea striker injured in friendly victory". BBC Sport. 10 August 2014.
  18. ^ "FTC: szurkolói hangulatkeltés az alternatív gálameccsen". Nemzeti Sport. 10 August 2014.
  19. ^ "NB I: a Ferencváros a Szpari legyőzésével avatta stadionját". Nemzeti Sport. 24 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Lafferty aglow after Northern Irish Hungary win". Uefa.com. 7 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Gera strikes late as Hungary edge Finland". Uefa.com. 14 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Ferencváros 4–1 Go Ahead Eagles". Uefa.com. 9 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Hungary 0—0 Ivory Coast". UEFA.com. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Válogatott: Luxemburggal és Costa Ricával játszunk novemberben". Nemzeti Sport. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Budapest to host 2019 UEFA Women's Champions League final". UEFA.com. 20 September 2017.
  26. ^ "A sas új fészke – az FTC új stadionja". epiteszforum.hu. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Látta már Thomas Doll és a Fradi öltözőjét? – NSO tv". youtube.com. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Groupama Aréna". faninfo.hu. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Európa legmodernebb stadionja". groupamaarena.com. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  30. ^ "Stadium of the Year: How much did a stadium cost in 2014?". Stadium Database. 12 February 2015.
  31. ^ "Fotók: Albert Flórián és szotyiárus-szobor is került az új Fradi-stadionhoz". ulloi129.hu. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  32. ^ "FTC: nem készpénzzel kell fizetni az új Fradi-stadionban". Nemzeti Sport. 4 August 2014.
  33. ^ "UEFA Appeals Body decisions". UEFA.com. 5 September 2014.
  34. ^ "2014–15 Nézőszámok". magyarfutball.hu. 24 May 2016.
  35. ^ "2015–16 Nézőszámok". magyarfutball.hu. 24 May 2016.
  36. ^ "2016–17 Nézőszámok". magyarfutball.hu. 28 March 2017.
  37. ^ "2017–18 Nézőszámok". magyarfutball.hu. 20 December 2019.
  38. ^ "2018–19 Nézőszámok". magyarfutball.hu. 20 December 2019.

External linksEdit