European groundhopping thread

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Re: CIS Cup Final

Postby Gerd Bibimbapper » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:49 am

Last pix from my holiday.
Grounds in Verona and Rovereto (Italy).

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European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:49 pm

I'm planning on groundhopping in Denmark and one other northern European country in the next few years. I'll post greater details in the weeks/months about which clubs/grounds I intend to visit. Most will be low in the football pyramids. So far my tentative list is:

DENMARK:

Riisvangen Stadion, Risskov, greater Aarhus (club: Aarhus Fremad, aka FC Aarhus, in 2. Division Ves [tier 3])
* pros: beautiful tree cover surrounding the entire stadium, nice metal entrance gate, in Denmark's second-largest city
* cons: has a bit of a running track

Østerbro Stadion, east Copenhagen (clubs: B93 and Skjold, both in 2. Division Øst [tier 3])
* pros: in central Copenhagen (easy to get to); has a grand entrance, various statues and an elegant building opposite of the main stand.
* cons: has a running track (!)

CASA Arena (club: AC Horsens, in Superligaen [tier 1])
* pros: some of the more unique floodlights in the world, nice roof curves on the ends of the ground, newly-renovated ground, no running track, fairly intimate feeling for a top-flight club
* cons: in the middle of nowhere (25km southwest of Aarhus, may be difficult by public transport)

(tentative) Emdrupparken, northwest Copenhagen (club: KFUMs Boldklub, in Andre København [tier 5])
* similar to an English level 10 or 11 ground... basically a park pitch with a clubhouse.
* pros: in greater Copenhagen, visually ideal setting, no running track
* cons: no cover/seats, pitches were recently flooded, a bit out in the sticks

Interestingly enough, the fifth-tier "Andre: Jylland" division (Jylland being the largest western peninsula in Denmark) includes several grounds literally a stones' throw away from water, including:

Løgstør Stadion
Nykøbing Stadion
Nordals Idrætscenter (rather conveniently is part of a hotel complex)
Skanderborg Stadion

I haven't looked at the other northern European countries in much detail yet, but one ground that definitely sticks out (despite having a running track) is the Stockholm Olympiastadion, which has a castle-like entrance (amongst numerous other captivating things).
Last edited by MipoFanatic on Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: CIS Cup Final

Postby sjc_three » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:11 pm

To be honest, a little disappointed you haven't hopped the fence for a picture of you in the dugout directing play. :albino:

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby sjc_three » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:15 pm

MipoFanatic wrote:I haven't looked at the other northern European countries in much detail yet, but one ground that definitely sticks out (despite having a running track) is the Stockholm Olympiastadion, which has a castle-like entrance (amongst numerous other captivating things).

I hope it's better than this cardboard cut out piece of shit at the Boleyn.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:50 pm

MipoFanatic wrote:I'm planning on groundhopping in Denmark and one other northern European country in the next few years.

Most of the lower tier grounds in Denmark have tracks, and if that's an absolute no-no, I'll try to think of some nice ones without. But I'd call that thing at Aarhus Fremad a track and Østerbro definitely has a track (you're aware it's right next to the national stadium, right?), so maybe you don't care too much. It's a been a while though since I've been to most of them, and a lot of places have been closed/upgraded. I'd been to the old place at Horsens for example but haven't been since the redevelopment - it's easy to get to though as it's on the main railway line between Copenhagen and Aarhus and most Intercity trains stop there (plus the motorway if you go by car).

Of your little list of places by the sea, Løgstør isn't a stadium, it's a park, like Emdrup. My dad was born in Nykøbing. I've been to their ground a fair few times. They actually have a stand with a roof. They also have a "famous" cricket club next door, also right by the sea, which is one of the favourite places for the national team to play cricket when they want to show off. But you're Canadian so might not be too impressed by cricket. There's also a youth hostel, right on the beach, just round the back, conveniently. The place in Skanderborg is right across the road from where I spent Christmas last year, so that's reasonably recommendable too.

I have a vague idea that I'll try to watch a game north of the artic circle this summer in Norway. There probably aren't too many grounds in Canada north of the artic circle. I'll need to get permission first though. And there's the U-21 European Championship (in Denmark) and Womens World Cup (in Germany) to worry about too.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:55 am

Pretty much all four of those near-water grounds are merely parks... I don't mind in the slightest. 8)

Meanwhile, Pallo-Iirot Rauma's Äijänsuon Stadion in Finland looks promising... this photo in particular.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:28 am

The recent history in Denmark has been mergers of clubs' first teams to make elite "fusion clubs". You see the effect in all the "FC Whatevers" that have popped up and the worst one which is Elsinore's "Elite 3000". FC Copenhagen started it about 20 years ago and you have to say it's been a success for them but things have gotten a bit out of hand now.

Most of the top tier Superliga teams have redeveloped football specific venues, FC Copenhagen, Brøndby, FC Nordsjælland, FC Midtjylland, Aalborg, Odense, Esbjerg etc. Silkeborg's quit a nice little ground with a Swiss chalet style clubhouse in the corner. A couple of lower league places that don't have tracks;

Herfølge, now HB Køge after a merger, play in what is little more than a village of about 5,000 people and managed to win the Danish title in 2000 with John Jensen as coach. They used to be a real community club and had a real friendly atmosphere as most people in the town went to the match.

Viborg: One of the venues for the U-21 Euros. They recently staved off bankruptcy after re-developing their ground. It's not a bad example of what you can do for around 10,000 people though and is often used by the women's national team for matches.

Frem, they must have disappeared down to the 5th tier or something after a recent bankruptcy, but used to be a power and are a very working class team in Copenhagen. The few fans they do still have are real die-hards. Their stadium in Valby looks a bit rickety by today's standards and will probably get redeveloped at some point.

Another place that has a grand history but nothing much happens nowadays is Gentofte Stadion in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen. They used to host big European Cup ties, despite the grass banks, but since FC Copenhagen started up struggle to get more than a handful fans. One other lower league place I'd recommend is Svendborg which is a lovely little town by the sea with lots of islands and sailing stuff. You can even take a steamship to the castle that is owned by Nicklas Bendtner's billionaire girlfriend. The ground itself has a small running track, but is surrounded by trees and has a very cosy atmosphere on a summers day.

If you ever venture down towards this part of the world I'd absolutely recommend seeing Union Berlin's home Alte Försterei. Apart from ticking pretty much all the boxes; no running track, standing terraces, tickets for less than a tenner, fans with songs and flags, great food, a variety of German beer on tap throughout the match, situated in a forest but easy to get to; it was also built by the fans who donated their time without pay to build the place. Bizarrely, in Germany stadiums don't get built because the mayor's sister's husband's construction firm needs the contract.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:43 am

Thanks for the tips. Haven't gone through all the Danish grounds yet, and Svendborg in particular looks quite nice.

Yes, after looking up a few Danish clubs in Wikipedia, I was startled by how many of them came about from recent mergers. Also weird how the first-teams merged, but the clubs really didn;t... for example, and I might be mistaken here, but doesn't FC Copenhagen have several reserve teams, all with different names (presumably of the clubs that merged their first-teams)?

I've been alerted that East Germany might be my "quirky" groundhopping Utopia. Is Alte Försterei the ground that was shown on international TV, where they interviewed people working on the ground? Or might I be thinking of a different ground/club?

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:04 am

MipoFanatic wrote:Yes, after looking up a few Danish clubs in Wikipedia, I was startled by how many of them came about from recent mergers. Also weird how the first-teams merged, but the clubs really didn;t... for example, and I might be mistaken here, but doesn't FC Copenhagen have several reserve teams, all with different names (presumably of the clubs that merged their first-teams)?

The clubs are still separate and are each part owners of the new entity FC Copenhagen (FCK in Danish). Of the two clubs involved in the merger, B1903 were the ones with the place in the top league and matches in Europe against heavyweights like Bayern München and Aberdeen. KB were the ones facing relegation to the regional leagues but the history (supposedly oldest football club outside Britain) and belief that they were Copenhagen's true club. Officially the team that is now in the last 16 of the Champions League, FCK, took B1903's league spot and players but effectively became KB's first team and moved into their training ground. The second team played as KB II for a long while, but are now just FCK II. B1903 have their own first team that play in the Copenhagen regional leagues. Supposedly the two clubs collaborate at the youth level with joint summer camps and the like but their junior teams still play against each other in the Copenhagen youth leagues. In theory the best players still get fed up the chain to FCK but FCK have started their own youth academy now so I don't know what is going to happen in future. Basically 1903 got shafted, though they probably made some money out of the shares they owned in FCK.

The Danish FA have just turned down a merger application from Kolding and Allan Simonsen's old club Vejle, although I expect even this will go through eventually.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby MipoFanatic » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:10 pm

Quite fancy getting out to BSF's ground in Ballerup, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Sadly, it sounds like it's a "new" club (two clubs that merged together in 2010), but what a ground! Football-specific... and a moat.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby sjc_three » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:15 pm

MipoFanatic wrote:Quite fancy getting out to BSF's ground in Ballerup, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Sadly, it sounds like it's a "new" club (two clubs that merged together in 2010), but what a ground! Football-specific... and a moat.

Holy Moses - try getting into that place without a ticket! Awesome stuff!

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Holyjoe » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:08 pm

That is absolutely fantastic.. they really should have gone the whole hog though and put a drawbridge in at the access point :)

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Cyclops » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:55 pm

Mental. Added to my future visits list. Attended Russia v Serbia in Moscow on my recent trip and also took in a few derelict and not so derelict stadia in Warsaw. Might post up a few photos when I get round to it.

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby Holyjoe » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:38 am

Cyclops wrote:Mental. Added to my future visits list. Attended Russia v Serbia in Moscow on my recent trip and also took in a few derelict and not so derelict stadia in Warsaw. Might post up a few photos when I get round to it.


Hope you can get time to post them, would be good to see some photos and get an idea of how the trip went :)

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Re: European groundhopping thread

Postby eujin » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:56 am

Brazilian travels 6,000 miles to Britain... to watch Accrington Stanley

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4151381/Accrington-Stanleys-Brazilian-fan.html


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