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Grbavica Stadium is located in Grbavica, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The football stadium has terraces close to the pitch and it is the home stadium of FK Željezničar Sarajevo and one of two stadiums of the national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The stadium has a capacity to hold 13,785 seated spectators, with more room for standing spectators under South stands (capacity up to 16,000). Grbavica Stadium is also known as Dolina ćupova (en. Plain of Jars).[1]

Grbavica Stadium
Dolina ćupova
Panoramic view of Grbavica Stadium, Sarajevo.jpg
Grbavica Stadium - UEFA 3/4 stars
LocationUlica Zvornička 21, Grbavica, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates43°50′48″N 18°23′14″E / 43.84667°N 18.38722°E / 43.84667; 18.38722Coordinates: 43°50′48″N 18°23′14″E / 43.84667°N 18.38722°E / 43.84667; 18.38722
OwnerFK Željezničar Sarajevo
OperatorFK Željezničar Sarajevo
Capacity13,146 (League Matches)
Field size105 x 66 m (114.8 x 72.2 yd)
Opened13 September 1953
Renovated25 April 1976, July 2018
Construction cost> 2 million
FK Željezničar Sarajevo (1953–1968, 1976–present)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (2017–present)


The building of the football ground in Grbavica started during the late 1940s by SD Željezničar. Although there were several football pitches with bleachers and stands in Sarajevo at the time (including the freshly built Koševo Stadium), it was decided by communist authorities that Željezničar should have its own playing facility. Many of the club's supporters, friends, and members, including a number Yugoslav People's Army personnel helped in the construction of the stadium. Unlike Koševo that was a large-scale project with generous state support through funds and manpower, Grbavica had a lot fewer people working on it and as a result took much longer to complete. A new pitch with a drainage system was built and the stands were built with concrete. The south and east side were made out of concrete, while wooden stands that were taken from the Marijin Dvor ground that was torn down, got placed on the west side. At first, Grbavica was a multi-use stadium. Competitions in cycling and athletics were organized, as well as football matches. Eventually its use became football only. It was officially opened on September 13, 1953 with the Yugoslav Second League western division match between Željezničar and Šibenik. Željezničar won 4–1.

1970s renovationsEdit

Northern stand built in 1986

In 1968 renovations on the stadium began and on April 25, 1976 Grbavica was re-opened. About 50,000 cubic meters of materials were used, and the floodlights were installed. Two training pitches and the "little sports stadium" were added, as well as new dressing rooms, showers and other important facilities. The Đurasović family were the first donors

1986: Northern stand addedEdit

In 1986 a proper northern stand was finally built. There were plans for the whole stadium to be remodeled and encircled to look like the newly built north stand, but they got shelved for the time being. As a result of the renovations, in October 1987, Yugoslav national football team (coached at the time by Željo legend Ivica Osim) played its first ever match at the stadium. In a Euro 88 qualification clash versus Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia won 3–0.

Stadium in 2006

The stadium suffered heavy structural damage during the Bosnian War that broke out in 1992. The stadium was located between the first front lines and endured heavy fighting. Bosnian Serbs' forces burned the West stand wooden terraces. It was not until 1996 that a football match would be played here again. Symbolically, the first match after the war was the local derby. The capacity of North stands holds 5377 seats.[2]

It was partly remodelled in following years. In 2004, 8898 seats were installed on the north and south stand and some small work was done to the terraces. The last major job done on the stadium was in 2008–09 when the floodlights were repaired. On 22 April 2009, after about 18 years, a game under floodlights was again played on Grbavica. There are new proposals for a major overhaul of the current facilities. The new project proposes the creation of new roofed terraces on each side, and the increase of the capacity to 24,000 seated places. Other facilities such as a training ground near the stadium are proposed. These new proposals are still waiting financial backing.

On Monday, 13 February 2012, a section of the roof above the west stand collapsed after 10 days of heavy snowfall. The main reason for the collapsing of the roof was the bad maintenance of the whole terrace and roof were the snow was not removed since the first snowfall, but also the war damages on the buildings.

As at 2016, West stands hold 690 seats since May 2016, while south stands capacity is 3068 seats. A modern LED Display has been installed in the south stand. [3]

2017: Eastern stand addedEdit

Eastern stand built in 2017

East stand was rebuilt (an all seated stand replacing the entire East standing section) with works finishing in early April 2017. The capacity of east stands is 4650 seats.[4][5][6] The East stand was funded entirely by club supporters and local businesses.[7][8] United States midfielder Mix Diskerud donated funds to the project by buying 50 seats for the North stand as well as two ten year passes for East stand.[9][10] Former club managers and players the likes of Amar Osim, Edin Džeko, Ibrahim Šehić and Semir Štilić among others, also donated.[11] Regional clubs also supported the project, with donations coming from Dinamo Zagreb.[12][13]

On 1 April 2017, Željezničar played host to Sloboda Tuzla during the Championship round of the 2016–17 Premier League season and on the day the newly built Eastern Stand opened to public.

2018: Pitch replacementEdit

In May 2018, a new pitch with a drainage system was started getting replaced. The new pitch was replaced in July 2018.[14]

Stadium Grbavica after turf grass replacement, August 2018


The stadium is located in the Grbavica neighbourhood, under the Šanac Hill which was traversed by railway tracks. When the train was passing over the stadium, it would sound its horn to salute the crowd. Nowadays, the old railway is no longer in use. There are however trolleybuses that pass by the stadium and visitors are able to come to the stadium using other modes of public transportation as well. The tramway line is also very close near the Socijalno station, which is located 600 meters away from the stadium.

Notable matchesEdit

By far the most notable match played at the stadium was the 1984-85 UEFA Cup semifinal return leg on Wednesday, 24 April 1985 between Željezničar and Hungarian visitors Videoton FC from Székesfehérvár. Videoton brought a 1–3 advantage from the first leg, however, the home side fought valiantly in front of the racous home crowd of 27,000 fans[15] and was 2–0 ahead on goals by Edin Bahtić in the 5th and Edin Ćurić in the 62nd minute. Just a few minutes from the end, Željo still had a result that would see it take on mighty Real Madrid in the UEFA Cup final. However, disaster struck in the 87th minute when Videoton right back József Csuhay was left unmarked and scored a goal for 2–1 that took his team to the final and saw Željezničar's hopes dashed in the cruelest of fashions.


Home club supporters at Grbavica

International matchesEdit

Senior teams only.

Date Result Competition
14 October 1987   Yugoslavia 3–0   Northern Ireland UEFA Euro 1988 Q
15 August 2001   Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–0   Malta Friendly
27 March 2002   Bosnia and Herzegovina 4–4   North Macedonia Friendly
10 August 2010   Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–1   Qatar Friendly
7 October 2017   Bosnia and Herzegovina 3–4   Belgium 2018 FIFA World Cup Q
15 October 2018   Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–0   Northern Ireland 2018–19 UEFA Nations League B
23 March 2019   Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–1   Armenia UEFA Euro 2020 Q
Stadium Grbavica ahead of match between Željezničar and Sloboda Tuzla, 1 April 2017.


Due to its smaller size (to Stadium Koševo), the stadium has seen far less music concerts held at its location. Some concerts at Stadium Grbavica were:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Kako je stadion Grbavica dobio nadimak "Dolina ćupova"". Radio Sarajevo.
  2. ^, Sport Centar -. "SPORT CENTAR - Smiješ znati sve o sportu".
  3. ^ "Započeo projekat renoviranja Stadiona Grbavica".
  4. ^ "FOTO: Bageri na Stadionu Grbavica".
  5. ^ "FOTO \\ Željo pravi novu Grabavicu za europske i utakmice reprezentacije".
  6. ^ "Započeli radovi na renoviranju stadiona FK Željezničar".
  7. ^ "FOTO- Niklo plavo čudo usred Sarajeva".
  8. ^ "I Copa90 objavio reportažu o Želji, Manijacima i obnovi Grbavice".
  9. ^ "Reprezentativac SAD-a Mix Diskerud kupio dvije 10-godišnje ulaznice za istočnu tribinu Grbavice".
  10. ^, Sport Centar -. "Američki reprezentativac Mix Diskerud ponovo podržao izgradnju Grbavice – Sport Centar".
  11. ^ "Evropska Grbavica: Džeko, Šehić, Štilić i Osim donirali sredstva za 120 stolica". Novinska agencija Patria.
  12. ^ "Dinamo Zagreb kupio pet, Zdravko Mamić jednu desetogodišnju ulaznicu za Grbavicu".
  13. ^ "GNK Dinamo Zagreb podržat će izgradnju istočne tribine Stadiona Grbavica".
  14. ^ Okončani radovi na zamjeni terena stadiona Grbavica at, 14 July 2018
  15. ^ Željezničar je prije 60 godina dobio dom, svoju Grbavicu;, 13 September 2013
  16. ^ "Željezničar and Arsenal: 15 August 1976". Retrieved 2015-08-15. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  17. ^ "Željezničar - Arsenal 1-1". Retrieved 2015-08-15. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ "Plavi vremeplov: Željezničar – Wolfsburg". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  19. ^ (November 8, 2011). "Željo odlično sparingovao Zmajevima" (in Bosnian). Retrieved 2011-11-08. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Tifa na našoj Grbavici".

External linksEdit