Stadion Letná (Generali Arena), Praha 7 – Bubemeč (Prague)
Club: AC Sparta Praha + Czech National Team
Capacity: +/- 45.000 (max.) – current: 20.854
Build: 1917 – 1921 – 1934 – 1969 – 1994
Architect: Lev Lauermann (1921)
Opened: 13/05/1917 AC Sparta Praha – SK Viktoria Plzeň 3-2
Names: 1917 – 2003 Stadion Letná (Letenský Stadion)
2003 – 2007 Toyota Arena
2007 – 2009 AXA Arena
2009 – 20… Generali Arena
Aftersport clubAC SpartaPraha hadbeen allocateda piece of landto the Northwest of the city centre in 1914 from the Prague City Government, it was still a three-year waitbefore thefirst, primitive, standsaroundthe playing fieldcouldbe inaugurated.Duringthe opening gameon May 13,1917Sparta Prague booked a 3-2 win overSKViktoria Plzeň.
Four years later, in1921, architectLevLauermann designeda new woodenmain standforthe stadium. The tribune with 1,600 seats was the largest of its kind in Central Europe. In Apil 10 1934, when the stadium’s capacity was raised from 25,000 to 45,000 places disaster struck. The woodenstructureburned downandalong with thestandtheclubarchive andthetrophy casewent up in flames.The old woodenmainstand wasreplacedby a safer copy, built of steel and concrete,in december1935. The damage thatthe stadium would sustain ten years later,duringthe last year of the war,would be quickly restored after the war ended.
Between 1967 and1969,the outlookof the stadiumchanged dramatically.With the exceptionof the main standof 1935allstandswerereplaced bya structureof steel andconcrete.On top of thebottomring withstand, a secondring was builtusing onlyseats. The renewed Letná with a capacity for 35,800 places was festively inaugurated on 7 May 1969 with a match between Sparta Prague and Austria Vienna, a match that was won by the Austrians with 1-2.
The stadiumgotitscurrent lookin 1994 whenentrepreneurPetrMach reconstructed Letná without a building permit. The Sparta Stadium was adapted to the standards of modern international football and transformed into an “all-seater” with 20.374 seats and 480 VIP-seats. With apent-upplaying field andstands up the sidelinesthe stadiumtodayhas avery English feel.Theundersoil heating was addedin 2001 so football can still be played duringwinter weather conditions.
Unfortunately, thecommercialisationof footballalso hit the historical“StadionLetná“withnumerousname changes.The name “Letná“had tomake way in 2003for“ToyotaArena”.Thenthe stadiumwas called“AXA Arena” while in 2009it was again renamed “GeneraliArena”. There are concrete plans to build a state-of-the-art new stadium with a capacity of up to 40,000 seats at the current location in the near future. The nameof that new stadiumis not yet known.
“Strenger als die UEFA”. SEISS Michael in Stadionwelt nr. 13, sept. 2005