Stadion Maksimir

Maksimir Stadium (Croatian: Stadion Maksimir, pronounced [ˈstâdioːn mǎksimiːr]) is a multi-use stadium in Zagreb, Croatia. It takes its name from the surrounding neighbourhood of Maksimir. The venue is primarily the home of Dinamo Zagreb, the top club of the country with 23 league titles, but it is also the home venue of the Croatia national football team. First opened in 1912, it has undergone many revamps, and its current layout dates from a 1997 rebuilding. The stadium also sometimes hosts other events such as rock concerts.

Maksimir Stadium
Maksimirski stadion 0508.jpg
Exterior view of the stadium, 2006
Full nameMaksimir Stadium
LocationMaksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
Coordinates45°49′7.89″N 16°1′5.08″E / 45.8188583°N 16.0180778°E / 45.8188583; 16.0180778Coordinates: 45°49′7.89″N 16°1′5.08″E / 45.8188583°N 16.0180778°E / 45.8188583; 16.0180778
OwnerCity of Zagreb
OperatorDinamo Zagreb
Record attendance64,138 (NK Zagreb vs Osijek, 19 July 1973)
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
SurfaceHybrid grass
Opened5 May 1912; 110 years ago (1912-05-05)
Renovated1948, 1998, 2011
ArchitectVladimir Turina, Branko Kincl
HAŠK (1912–1945)
HŠK Građanski (1912–1924)
Dinamo Zagreb (1948–present)
ŽNK Dinamo Zagreb (selected matches)
Croatia national football team (1990–present)
NK Lokomotiva (2009–2017)


The construction and the early yearsEdit

With the rising popularity of the sport in Zagreb, the local football club HAŠK, which was one of the first multi-sports club in Croatia, decided to build a new stadium for their club. They bought the ground in the Svetice neighbourhood in Zagreb, which lies on the opposite side of the Maksimir Park, from the Archdiocese of Zagreb. HAŠK built a wooden stand with a capacity of 6,000, which was also the first ground with a proper stand in Zagreb at that time. The stadium was opened on 5 May 1912, and at the opening ceremony of the new stadium, HAŠK and their city rival, HŠK Građanski Zagreb, played several friendly matches to commemorate the opening.[2]

Due to the close relationship and alliance of HAŠK and HŠK Građanski Zagreb and the latter one playing at the Stadion Koturaška, which was in a poor state, Građanski also started playing their home matches at the new Stadium Maksimir.

On 26 May 1941, a representative of the Ustashe fascist government of the Independent State of Croatia addressed young Zagreb students at their meeting at the Maksimir Stadium, and at one point ordered the Serbian and Jewish students to be segregated, but the children disobeyed.[3][4] Soon afterwards, in June 1941, rebel youths burned the stadium down.[4] In 1977, a movie Operation Stadium was made to commemorate the segregation incident.

After World War II and the developmentEdit

After World War II, HAŠK and Građanski got dissolved by the newly established communist regime of Yugoslavia and a new club, FD Dinamo Zagreb, inherited the clubs' colours, honours and the ground and is, therefore, the direct successor of HAŠK and HŠK Građanski Zagreb.

When the UEFA Euro 1976 final tournament was held in Yugoslavia, Maksimir hosted the Netherlands v. Czechoslovakia semi-final match and the Netherlands v. Yugoslavia third place match.

Maksimir was the central venue for the 1987 Summer Universiade hosted by the city of Zagreb.

In 1990, several events happened at Maksimir. On 13 May, the Dinamo Zagreb–Red Star Belgrade riot took place, an infamous riot involving Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade supporters. The last match of the Yugoslavia national football team was hosted at Maksimir on 3 June. On 17 October of the same year, Croatia played the United States in what was Croatia's first match in the modern era.

In modern timesEdit

In 1998, plans were made for a massive renovation, and the first phase started the same year. The old northern stand was demolished and a new one built within a year. This renovation increased Maksimir's seating capacity to 38,079.

After 1992, for 16 years the Croatian football team had a proud unbeaten record at this stadium in any competitive match, however, on 10 September 2008 (two years after suffering a 2–0 defeat at the same venue) England became the first team to beat Croatia in Zagreb, winning 4–1, ending a thirty match undefeated streak.

In the summer of 2011, a little, but much needed "facelifting" was made on the stadium. All seats were replaced, a new drainage system, under-soil heating and automatic watering were installed along with a new turf, the athletic track was covered with blue artificial grass and all brick surfaces were covered in blue cloth.

2020 earthquakeEdit

The earthquake, which happened on the morning of 22 March 2020, damaged the structural stability of the stadium. After an inspection by a structural engineer, the Maksimir stadium was deemed "temporarily unusable". The eastern stand, which is also the biggest single stand by capacity, took the most damage and is awaiting the final decision following a detailed building inspection. While waiting, Dinamo is allowed to host matches on the Maksimir stadium, but with the eastern stand being closed for viewers.[5]

Capacity per sectorEdit

Four stands (8 sectors) contribute to the total seating capacity of 35,423:[1] 25.912 after east stand damage.

Western approach towards the stadium, July 2018
  • North stand (up): 4,510
  • North stand (down): 4,950
  • North stand (VIP): 300
  • West stand (up): 5,101
  • West stand (down): 6,369
  • West stand (VIP): 748
  • East stand: 9,514 - closed due to damage from the earthquake
  • South stand: 3,931

International matchesEdit

Date Result Competition
25 June 1952 Yugoslavia   4–1   Norway International friendly
18 October 1953 3–1   France
9 May 1954 0–2   Belgium
17 June 1956 1–1   Austria 1955–60 Central European International Cup
12 September 1956 PR Croatia   5–2   Indonesia Unofficial friendly
12 May 1957 Yugoslavia   6–1   Italy 1955–60 Central European International Cup
5 October 1958 4–4   Hungary International friendly
19 November 1961 2–1   Austria
30 September 1962 2–3   West Germany
3 November 1963 2–0   Czechoslovakia
8 May 1966   Hungary
18 November 1970   West Germany
21 October 1973 0–0   Spain 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification
28 September 1974 1–0   Italy International friendly
15 October 1975 3–0   Sweden UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying
24 April 1976 2–0   Wales UEFA Euro 1976 quarter-final
16 June 1976 Czechoslovakia   3–1
  Netherlands UEFA Euro 1976 semi-final
19 June 1976 Netherlands   3–2
  Yugoslavia UEFA Euro 1976 third place play-off
8 May 1977 Yugoslavia   0–2   Romania 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 October 1978 1–2   Spain UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying
13 June 1979 4–1   Italy International friendly
12 November 1983 0–0   France
6 September 1989 3–1   Scotland 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 June 1990 0–2   Netherlands International friendly
17 October 1990 Croatia   2–1   United States Unofficial friendly
22 October 1992 3–0   Mexico International friendly
25 June 1993 3–1   Ukraine
4 June 1994 0–0   Argentina
9 October 1994 2–0   Lithuania UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying
25 March 1995 4–0   Ukraine
26 April 1995 2–0   Slovenia
3 September 1995 7–1   Estonia
10 November 1996 1–1   Greece 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 September 1997 3–2   Bosnia and Herzegovina
29 October 1997 2–0   Ukraine 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification play-off
6 June 1998 7–0   Australia International friendly
14 October 1998 3–2   Macedonia UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
28 April 1999 0–0   Italy International friendly
21 August 1999 2–1   Malta UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying
4 September 1999 1–0   Republic of Ireland
9 October 1999 2–2   FR Yugoslavia
29 March 2000 1–1   Germany International friendly
28 May 2000 0–2   France
11 October 2000 1–1   Scotland 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 October 2001 1–0   Belgium
27 March 2002 0–0   Slovenia International friendly
17 April 2002 2–0   Bosnia and Herzegovina
29 March 2003 4–0   Belgium UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
11 October 2003 1–0   Bulgaria
15 November 2003 1–1   Slovenia UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying play-off
31 March 2004 2–2   Turkey International friendly
4 September 2004 3–0   Hungary 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
9 October 2004 2–2   Bulgaria
26 March 2005 4–0   Iceland
30 March 2005 3–0   Malta
8 October 2005 1–0   Sweden
7 October 2006 7–0   Andorra UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
11 October 2006 2–0   England
24 March 2007 2–1   Macedonia
6 June 2007 0–0   Russia
8 September 2007 2–0   Estonia
13 October 2007 1–0   Israel
6 September 2008 3–0   Kazakhstan 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 September 2008 1–4   England
15 October 2008 4–0   Andorra
6 June 2009 2–2   Ukraine
5 September 2009 1–0   Belarus
7 September 2010 0–0   Greece UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
12 October 2010 2–1   Norway International friendly
17 November 2010 3–0   Malta UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
6 September 2011 3–1   Israel
15 November 2011 0–0   Turkey UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-off
29 February 2012 1–3   Sweden International friendly
7 September 2012 1–0   Macedonia 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
22 March 2013 2–0   Serbia
7 June 2013 0–1   Scotland
11 October 2013 1–2   Belgium
19 November 2013 2–0   Iceland 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification play-off
9 September 2014 2–0   Malta UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
28 March 2015 5–1   Norway
10 October 2015 3–0   Bulgaria
5 September 2016 1–1   Turkey 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 November 2016 2–0   Iceland
24 March 2017 1–0   Ukraine
3 September 2017 1–0   Kosovo
9 November 2017 4–1   Greece 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification play-off
15 November 2018 3–2   Spain 2018–19 UEFA Nations League A
21 March 2019 2–1   Azerbaijan UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying
11 October 2020 2–1   Sweden 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A
14 October 2020 1–2   France
22 September 2022 2–1   Denmark 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A


The stadium has also been used as the venue for some big concerts, including:

Renovation plansEdit

Maksimir before 2011 facelifting

According to the 1998 plans, renovation was to include lowering the lawn and making the "ring" round the pitch in the place of running track and thus gain 16,000 new seats with the annex to the south stand with the final addition of a modern roof structure. Maksimir was to have 60,000 comfortable sitting places and was to be an exclusively football stadium like many others in Europe.

It has additionally been planned to build: new premises for Club's Management, Elegant "Blue Lounge", Big "Trophy room", football school premises, changing room, coach staff room, sports hall with gym, out patient clinic, restaurant, luxury hotel ("A" category) with 46 beds for visiting teams special importance will be given to the building which will connect west stand to the north stand. By this, all the conditions for hosting and organizing big European matches would be fulfilled, including UEFA offices, press club, press center, V.I.P. hospitality, etc. With that, the venue was to be one of the best equipped stadiums in Europe.[6] However, in the beginning of the 2000s, the renovations were suspended.

As of December 2007, the public was awaiting the presentation of new stadium, and in 2008 city government presented two potential stadiums, new Maksimir and Vulkan (Volcano) which is supposed to be built on another location (Kajzerica) in Zagreb and old Maksimir should then be knocked down, the citizens were to choose which one they want on the referendum predicted to take place somewhere in the near future. However, the city government never made any progress with referendum or these plans and the stadium remains to be a problem to the city for a decade now.

There were talks, again, in 2018, after Croatia's historic success at the World Cup, that the stadium was going to be demolished and a new state of the art stadium would be built on the same place. In 2019, Dinamo Zagreb announced that they will demolish Maksimir and build a completely new stadium on their own, without the help of the Croatian Government, but needed the confirmation from the governing body of Zagreb and its mayor, Milan Bandić. Shortly after, it was announced that Dinamo Zagreb and the City of Zagreb will go in a joint collaboration to build a new stadium. The new stadium was supposed to be built on the ground of the current Maksimir Stadium and it should have had a capacity of 30,000 spectators. The stadium would have had a garage, shopping centre, hotel and several fan corners. After the 2020 Zagreb earthquake, the talks were, once again, put on hold.

Between 1997 and 2015, a total of HRK 800 million (c. €108 million) has been spent renovating the stadium.[7]

As of October 2022, Marko Milić (the representor of the Croatian government), has guaranteed that there will be a new Maksimir built with help of the government and the city of Zagreb.

Kajzerica proposalEdit

Artist's concept for the proposed stadium, nicknamed Blue Volcano

Stadion Kajzerica was a proposed new football stadium to be built in the Kajzerica neighborhood in Zagreb, intended to replace Stadion Maksimir as the home of the Croatia national football team and Dinamo Zagreb.

The design competition for the new stadium was won by architect Hrvoje Njirić in May 2008.[8] The winning design, nicknamed The Blue Volcano (Croatian: Plavi vulkan) by the press, would have a capacity of 55,000 and would include a blue-coloured polycarbonate dome exterior and a cloud-like structure suspended above the stadium covered in photovoltaic panels.[9]

The project had originally been intended to go ahead after it gained approval in a public referendum in which citizens of Zagreb would vote whether they would rather have the current Stadion Maksimir torn down and re-built in the same location (which would cost at least 264 million euros, according to offers submitted by construction companies) or replaced by an entirely new stadium at Kajzerica (whose construction cost is still unknown).[10]

According to the initial plan, the first option would include building a smaller venue at Kajzerica between 2009 and 2011, which would then be used to host Dinamo Zagreb's matches while Maksimir stadium is undergoing rebuilding in the period between 2011 and 2014.[8] The other option would include building the purpose-built 55,000 capacity Blue Volcano at Kajzerica, which would then become the Blues' permanent home.

However, the referendum about the stadium, which had originally been scheduled for June 2008, was postponed several times since and has not been held.

In October 2012, the project was abandoned,[11] to be briefly revived in 2013 with an eye to a possible UEFA Euro 2020 bid,[12] and again in 2018, following Croatia's historic success in the World Cup.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Stadion - Dinamo Zagreb". Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Nogometno ime Zagreb kroz povijest/The Zagreb name through football history". Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  3. ^ Zuroff, Efraim (2007-06-25). "Ustasa rock n' roll". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
  4. ^ a b Svjetlana Zorić (2010-05-12). "Otkrivanje nepoznatog Zagreba". E-novine (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
  5. ^ "Stadion Maksimir privremeno neupotrebljiv, dobio žutu oznaku. Urušava se godinama". Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  6. ^ "STADIUM MAKSIMIR, basic". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
  7. ^ "Zašto izgradnja krova na dvije tribine Maksimira košta kao bolji stadion". (in Croatian). 2 December 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b Blašković, Boba; Milković, Ante (2 May 2008). "Novi Dinamov stadion: Plavi vulkan". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Ariel (5 January 2010). "Blue Volcano: A Futuristic Cloud-Covered Stadium for Croatia". Fast Company. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  10. ^ "Na referendumu se neće znati cijena Kajzerice". Večernji list (in Croatian). 27 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  11. ^ Brkulj, Vedran (17 October 2012). "Bandić odustao od rekonstrukcije Maksimira i gradnje Kajzerice". (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  12. ^ "GDJE ĆE SE GRADITI NACIONALNI STADION 'Plavi vulkan' na Kajzerici stajat će 122 milijuna eura". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 21 September 2013. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Jutarnji list - FOTO: OVAKO BI TREBAO IZGLEDATI 'PLAVI VULKAN', NOVI HRVATSKI NACIONALNI STADION Koštao bi 120 milijuna eura, a većinu novca dao bi Grad Zagreb". 14 July 2018.

External linksEdit