- Strahov Stadium
stadium_name = Velký strahovský stadion
location = flagicon|CZE Strahov,
Prague, Czech Republic
opened = 1926
owner = Prague City Council
dimensions = 9 football pitches
(total 310.5 x 202.5 m)
surface = grass
seating_capacity = 220,000 [http://www.praguepost.com/P03/2003/RE/1211/re3.php The Prague Post - Rethinking 'Fortress Strahov'] by Andrew Satter]
Sparta Prague(training only)
The Great Strahov Stadium (Velký strahovský stadion in Czech) is a
stadiumin the Strahovdistrict of Prague, Czech Republic. The stadium is no longer in use for sports events; it is a training centre for Sparta Prague, and is used to host pop concerts. The stadium is sited on Petřínhill overlooking the old city. It can be accessed by taking the Petřín funicularup the hill through the gardens.
The stadium was the largest in the world, and is still the second largest sports facility worldwide after the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, seating around 220,000 [http://www.praguepost.com/P03/2003/RE/1211/re3.php The Prague Post - Rethinking 'Fortress Strahov'] by Andrew Satter] .
Construction began on a wooden stadium in 1926, which was replaced by concrete grandstands in 1932. Further construction occurred in 1948 and 1975. The playing field, surrounded by seating on all sides, is 63,500
square metres. The stadium currently serves Sparta Pragueas a training centre with 8 football pitches (6 pitches of standard sizes and 2 futsalpitches).
The original stadium dates from the First Republic between the World Wars and served as a venue for
Sokoldisplays of synchronized gymnasticson a massive scale. It was later used for large displays during the communist era. Performances with several hundred gymnasts making various complex formations and exercising identically while accompanied by tunes from traditional folk music attracted the attention of many visitors. Each time, among the widely popular shows were those of young well-trained recruits who wore only boxer shortswhile on the display or women dancing in miniskirts. The groups of gymnasts (unlike the soldiers, who were "ordered" to practise and participate) were put together from keen local Sokol athletic association members who regularly trained for the show throughout the year prior to the event, which repeated every five years. The ambiguous name of the performance, Spartakiáda, referred to the power and strength of the slave uprising led by Spartacus. Motor racingalso took place in the stadium in the mid-1960s.
Now (except for Sparta Prague's training ground) the stadium is used for holding huge concerts. Bands that have played there include
Pink Floyd, Guns N' Roses, The Rolling Stones, U2and Genesis. On August 18, 1990, Strahov Stadium housed a Rolling Stones concert with more than 150,000 people in attendance, including president Václav Havel.
The Future of the Stadium
In the last decade several studies have looked at
adaptive reuseand preservation of this unique structure. There are plans to convert the mammoth Strahov stadium complex into a commercial zone complete with hotels, restaurants and shops. Another suggestion is to turn the area into a "leisure meccafor the 21st century". There are also plans to rebuild the area as an Olympic villageif Prague wins a future Olympic bid; bidding for 2016 was unsuccessful. [http://www.praguepost.com/P03/2003/RE/1211/re3.php The Prague Post - Rethinking 'Fortress Strahov'] by Andrew Satter]
* [http://www.turistika.cz/galerie_vypis.php?typ=L&cz=6886 Photo gallery of the stadium]
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