added: 2010-07-16 16:03:44

Stadium

The first Cracovia stadium - Park Gier Klubu Sportowego Cracovia - was designed by Franciszek Mączyński and built in 1912 on the meadow "łąki zwierzynieckie" leased from the Norbertines of Cracow. Its construction would not have been possible without the generosity of fans who raised 8 200 Kronen (the total cost amounted to 20 000). An additional training ground was also built nearby. The stadium was opened on March 31 1912 with a match between Cracovia and Pogoń Lwów.

In 1936 it was named Marshal Józef Piłsudski Stadium as the Chief of State had visited the stadium at least twice - in 1917 he watched Cracovia face the team of Polish 1st Legions Infantry Regiment, and four years later Cracovia's game against Hungarian Vasas. After World War II the stadium was named in honour of Edward Cetnarowski - the club's legendary director who was also a co-founder and director of the Polish Football Association (PZPN). In the late 1940s both of the names were removed from the club's documents and building.

Cracovia stadium has survived, although much altered in form, to the present day. In the 1960s a wooden stand burned down in fire and the rebuilding of the stadium began in 1966. A cycling track and an all-seater stand were built in the years 1968-1969. Tennis courts, where a summer cinema and an amusement park used to be located, were done away with.

The old stadium could hold 6 500 people (1 100 seats were covered by roof), including 350 seats for visiting supporters. On August 21, 2004, the stadium lighting (1 400 lux) was inaugurated during Cracovia's game with Odra Wodzisław. The pitch is 105 by 68 metres (115 by 74 yd) in size.

In 2009 the original stadium from 1912 was demolished. By late 2010 a new construction was raised in its place.

CONSTRUCTION

Designer:
the consortium of Polish and Spanish architectural companies, Estudio Lamela Sp. z o.o, Estudio Lamela S.L., Sener Sp. z o.o. and Sener Ingenieria y Sistemas S.A

General constructor:
the consortium of German Alpine Bau Deutschland AG, Austrian Alpine Bau GmbH, Polish Alpine Construction Polska Sp. z o.o and KPBP „Budus" S.A

Cost:
156 895 268.38 zł

Completion date:
30th of September 2010

LOCATION

The stadium is located on the edge of Błonia Park, roughly in the same place where the original construction stood since 1912. The lot is bordered by Kraszewskiego Street to the west, Focha Street to the north, Kałuży Street to the east, and Zwierzyniec buildings to the south. Today's location of the stadium is somewhat different than in the past. The arena is still located in the central part of the plot but it is parallel to Focha Street, which did not exist in 1911 when the land was allotted. In the future an indoor sports arena will adjoin the south-east corner. Until then it will stay a green area.

OUTSIDE THE GROUND

East Square

It is the main representative square located between the East Stand and Kałuży Street. There are in here two box offices and street furniture (benches, street lamps). Right by the stadium there is a two and a half metre high, removable fence with turnstiles and exit gates. All entrances on the eastern side lead to the East Hallway. A big sign CRACOVIA is placed in the eastern façade of the stadium.

To the south, at the corner of the ground, near the planned indoor sports arena, there is an above ground car park with 62 parking spaces. There are two side roads which connect Kałuży Street with the car park - the shorter one is an exit road. The entry road connects Kałuży Street with the way to the back-up facilities. In the future in place of the parking area there will be an entrance to the underground car park.

West Square

The square is situated between Kraszewskiego Street and the West Stand. It is less representative and has more of a utilitarian function than the East Square. There are in here two box offices and street furniture (benches, street lamps). Right by the stadium there is a two and a half metre high, removable fence with turnstiles and exit gates. Most of the entrances on the western side lead to the West Hallway, with the exception of the last ones from the south. They lead to the technical and storage area, and to staircases leading to the Section G Foyer, Section H Foyer and Sky-Box Foyer. A big sign CRACOVIA is placed in the western façade of the stadium.

To the north of the stadium there is a fenced-in area for the visiting supporters. There is no separate car park for the bus of the visiting supporters. They ought to get off at the bus stop next to the stadium on Focha Street, proceed straight to one of the six turnstiles in order to enter the premises and head to the Visiting Team Fans Foyer.

There is a green area at the corner of Focha Street and Kraszewskiego Street where stadium grass is being grown. Next to it there are 20 parking spaces. The car park entry is on Kraszewskiego Street. It was intended for visiting supporters but it is neither fenced nor in any way connected to the area reserved for the visiting team fans.

Road to the back-up facilities

Road connecting Kraszewskiego Street and Kałuży Street. It runs in a wide arc along the borders of the plot, around the planned indoor arena. On the side of the road there are parking spaces for players, coaching staff and administrators (total of 31 seats). There are also spaces for broadcast vans (4) and visiting team buses (4).

Taking the road to the back-up facilities you can get to several entrances leading to the South Stand. Counting from Kałuży Street those are: a VIP entrance, entrance to the eastern escape stairs (there is also an elevator), players entrance, media entrance and garage entrance. Another entrance leads to the western escape stairs. Next there is a tunnel to the pitch, whose side corridor leads to a technical and storage area, storage units and garage.

Along the boundaries of the plot runs a three-and-a-half-metre clinker brick wall. What is interesting, under an agreement entered into by the City of Cracow and Seraphic Sisters the wall does not run exactly along the border of the property but three metres farther and so the green belt is outside the stadium area.

PITCH

The pitch is 105 metres (115 yd) long and 68 metres (74 yd) wide. The distance between sidelines and the stands varies from 6 metres (by the North Stand), through 8 metres (East and South Stands) up to 10 metres (West Stand). It is a natural grass pitch (there is a green area at the corner of the West Square where stadium grass is being grown) and the ground around the pitch is of synthetic grass and cobblestone. The players benches are situated by the South Stand and cut into the VIP area. Cracovia bench is on the right side of the entrance, while to the left there are benches for a Polish Football Association delegate and visiting team players. The playing field is lowered 1.10 m below ground level outside the stadium. The first row of seats is on the ledge 70 cm above the turf. There is a low (110 cm) railing which protect fans from falling down.

The players entrance is located centrally in the middle of the VIP sector. Players run out onto the pitch through a retractable tunnel. Vehicle entrance (from road to the back-up facilities) is situated near the corner flag in the south-western corner of the field. Stairs leading from the stands to the pitch can be found around the entire pitch - it goes without saying that the fans are not allowed to use them.

STANDS

Cracovia stadium consists of four stands: West Stand (by Kraszewskiego St.), North Stand (Focha St.), East Stand (Kałuży St.) and South Stand  (road to the back-up facilities). The latter is the main stand. They are respectively 14, 10, 12 and 19 metres (about 46, 33, 39, 62 ft) high. The stadium is compact in structure and so it is not possible to see the division into particular stands from the outside. Because of the planned indoor sports arena, the corner in the south-east of the stadium is cut. The area under the stands was designed as a vendor space. It consists of up to 6 floors: -1 (underground), 0 (ground floor) and the following ones: 1, 2, 3 and 4.There are 493 rooms here with a surface area of more than 16 000 square metres (19135 yd2).

The stadium is a fully roofed all-seater. The stands are steep and the aisles narrow, which allows for almost 100% of the seats to be no farther from the centre spot than 90 metres (about 295 ft) - borderline distance considered to be optimal for watching football games. It gives all of the fans uninterrupted view and great visibility, something that is not possible to achieve with bigger stadiums. The angle of stands inclination is 25 ° at the bottom, and increases up to 31 ° in the last row of the ground floor. In the VIP sector it is 27 °, on the balcony 5 °. The stands are slightly above the pitch, from which they are separated with a railing. The total capacity is 15 016. 13 853 seats are for the Cracovia fans and 1 057 for the visiting supporters - it is over 7% of the seats in the stadium which is about 306 more than the required 5%. Additionally, there are 106 seats for the press. All of the seats are numbered and fold to occupy less space and facilitate ingress or egress into and from a row.

COMMERCIAL ZONE

The commercial zone is situated under the North Stand and stretches along Focha Street. It is comprised of seven commercial units of different size, each with its own entrance directly on Focha Street. There is a plan to open cafés in the units on the two ends, and shops and other commercial facilities in the remaining ones. Each of the unit is a two-level - the first floor can be reached via staircase, separate for every property.

Focha Street will turn into a great commercial thoroughfare. Food and beverage outlets will serve both Cracovians and tourists spending their free time in the Błonia Park.

STAGE

Cracovia stadium was designed so that it could host concerts and other entertainment events. During football matches the stage area is simply a rectangular hallway under the stand, connected with the adjacent West Hallway with two passages. There are not any additional rooms in here, just two entrances leading to sector I.

Before concerts the tribunes above the stage area are removed (to be more exact 11 lower rows in the central part of West Stand). The special structure allows for their complete disassembly, which takes no more than a few hours. This creates room for the proper stage, where you can freely construct sets. The stage area can be extended towards the pitch. The roof over the stand protects the equipment from rain, but if necessary, there is also a possibility of adding an additional roof over the front of the stage. For the duration of concerts the pitch needs to be covered over to protect the turf from being downtrodden.

SECTOR FOR DISABLED FANS

The disabled are allocated seats in the +2 tier which stretches along the East Stand. The sector for the disabled fans is a long corridor with wheelchair spaces and PA seats adjacent. It is separated from sectors B and D with a railing and divided in the middle by a glass atrium, in which there are two lifts you can take to get to the East Hallway and Fan Shop. In the atrium there is a first aid room and a small bar with a low counter. The bar serves sandwiches, salads, popcorn, beverages. There is also a passage leading to the Office Space Zone and an entrance to cameraman's platform located behind the seats in the East Stand. The restrooms are located at the ends of the corridors. At the south end there is an extra lift and a service entrance which allows one to get to the Office Space Zone, the Command Centre, or go downstairs. There are skylights in the roof above the sector.

VIP FOYER

The VIP Foyer is located in the +2 tier and is accessible by stairs from the VIP lobby. It is divided into three zones depending on their function. The part farthest away from the pitch is a relaxation area as it is furnished with comfortable sofas. The part closest to the pitch is equipped with tables and serves as a café-restaurant. In middle there is an unfurnished part. To the west end there is an entrance to the kitchen, where dishes for the VIP and Sky Box fans are prepared. Nearby there is an entrance to the staircase, which connects, among others, the Upper and Lower Press Zone, and leads to Sky Box Foyer. The restrooms are located by the stairs at the eastern end of the Foyer. The VIP guests get to the VIP sector through one of the four sliding glass doors.

SKY BOXES

There are 26 luxury suites located in the midsection of the stadium grandstand, in the +2 tier. Each box consists of a room and an adjoining bathroom. The four largest Sky Boxes have kitchenettes, too. The lessees are entitled to use the box at their own discretion. There is possibility of furnishing the room with conference or banquet tables. There are glass panels from the side of the pitch and every box has an adjacent separate tribune with three rows of VIP seats. Depending on the size of the box the number of seats varies from 12, though 15 and 18 to 30. In order to sit outside one should pass through a sliding glass door. Each suite has its very own entrance from the Sky Box Foyer.

LOWER PRESS ZONE

The Press Zone on level 0 has a separate entrance leading from the road to the back-up facilities, and a reception desk. The zone consists of two large rooms. The first one is a press conference room with platforms in the front - for those responding to questions during a conference - and in the back - for TV cameras. The second room is used by journalists, it was furnished with desks in order to facilitate journalists' work. Restrooms are situated between the two rooms. A long hallway connects the Lower Press Zone and the players' entrance hall, which acts as a mixed zone. Journalists can spend time before and after the game in the Lower Press Zone. They can watch the match form the Upper Press Zone, which is easily accessible by lift or stairs.

UPPER PRESS ZONE

The Upper Press Zone is located in the +4 tier that is the highest in the stadium. It is connected with the Lower Press Zone by an elevator and stairs. What is more, it has access to two other staircases. The zone is a vast gallery above the last row of sectors F and H. There are 25 three-person boxes for radio and television commentators. Newspapers journalists seat below in four top rows of tribune F, which can be entered by two doors. 50 of those seats contain desktops which facilitate writing match reports. There is a separate room for the stadium announcer and the sound engineer in the centre of the hallway. In the eastern part of the zone there are two TV studios. These rooms are acoustically isolated from the stadium with the use of panoramic windows. Restrooms can be found also in this part of the arena. In the zone there are three fixed positions were television cameras are located - one is positioned centrally over the halfway line, the other two are on the sides, opposite the penalty area lines. The two other platforms for the camera men are situated in the centre of the West Stand and the East Stand.