Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Stadion Maksimir: A Historic Landmark in Croatia

Introduction

Stadion Maksimir, located in Zagreb, Croatia, is a stadium with a rich history and a unique design. Named after its neighborhood, it first opened its doors in 1912 and has undergone several renovations over the years. Home to Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia’s most successful football team, as well as the national side, Stadion Maksimir holds significant cultural and sporting importance.

A Fascinating Past

Stadion Maksimir has witnessed numerous significant events throughout its existence. In 1941, during the fascist government’s rule, an incident occurred at the stadium when students rebelled against discriminatory practices. The stadium survived an attempted arson and was rebuilt in the 1990s to its current appearance.

Stadium Statistics

  • Year Opened: 1912
  • Capacity: 35,123
  • Average Attendance: 3,875
  • Record Attendance: 64,138
  • Pitch Size: 105 x 68 meters

The Home of Dinamo Zagreb and Croatian Football

Stadion Maksimir serves as the primary home ground for Dinamo Zagreb, hosting their matches. Additionally, the Croatian national team occasionally plays games at the stadium, sharing their time between Stadion Maksimir and Poljud Stadium. The formation of the modern-day Croatia side took place in 1990, limiting the team’s options for home stadiums.

Seating Plan and Atmosphere

Stadion Maksimir features a distinctive design known as the “English Style,” with no roof and a considerable gap between the stands and the pitch. The stadium is divided into four stands, each with its unique characteristics:

  • North Tribune: Impressive two-tier structure with a capacity of 10,000 spectators, located behind the northern goal.
  • East Tribune: Single-tier stand running along the side of the pitch.
  • South Tribune: Curved stand, reminiscent of the stadium’s previous athletic track, is the smallest section.
  • West Tribune: Main stand with two tiers, accommodating over 11,000 spectators and housing essential facilities.
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Ticket Information

Ticket prices for international matches are determined by the governing bodies of respective competitions. FIFA sets prices for World Cup matches, while UEFA decides European Championship ticket prices. Friendly matches’ prices are typically set by the Croatian Football Association. For Croatia national team tickets, it is best to contact their Football Association directly.

For Dinamo Zagreb matches, prices vary depending on the seating location and the popularity of the opposing team. The club offers different rates for the Prva HNL and other competitions. Tickets for the Champions League group stage matches in the 2016-2017 season ranged from 200 to 300 KUNA. It is possible to become a club member to receive discounted prices.

To purchase tickets for both Croatian national team and Dinamo Zagreb matches, the official websites of the respective clubs are the best sources. Tickets rarely sell out, making it convenient for fans to obtain them even shortly before the match.

Getting to Stadion Maksimir

Zagreb, as the capital of Croatia, offers various transportation options for reaching Stadion Maksimir:

  • Train: Traveling to Zagreb by train can be an option for those looking for a scenic journey. After arriving at the main train station, visitors can easily reach the stadium using the Zagreb Electric Tram (ZET).
  • Bus: Alternatively, buses in Zagreb, such as the 203, 226, 227, and 228, provide convenient transportation to the stadium.
  • Car: Driving to the stadium is an option for those who prefer private transportation. Using a reliable navigation system will ensure arriving at the destination accurately.
  • Air: Zagreb International Airport, located approximately 10 miles from the city center, provides an option for those flying in. Buses are available to transport visitors from the airport to the city center.
  • Taxi: Taxis offer a quick and convenient mode of transportation, with a journey from the main train station to the stadium taking approximately ten minutes.
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Accommodation Near Stadion Maksimir

Zagreb, being the capital city, offers a wide range of hotels to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the best hotels near Stadion Maksimir include Hotel Atrium and Hotel Antunović Zagreb.

Pubs and Bars for Pre-Match Gatherings

Zagreb’s vibrant nightlife scene includes numerous bars and pubs where fans can gather before matches. Some popular choices in the vicinity of Stadion Maksimir are The Old Pharmacy Pub and Craft Room.

Facilities and Hospitality

Stadion Maksimir underwent renovations in 2011, including improvements to seating, drainage systems, and the athletic track. While the stadium does not have a roof, it provides a decent viewing experience for spectators. Hospitality options are available in the West Tribune, with executive seating and dedicated areas for private events.

Stadium Tours and Museum

Visitors can arrange stadium tours by contacting the club in advance. The tour includes a visit to the first-team facilities, such as the dressing rooms and the tunnel, as well as the press room and trophy rooms. The Maksimir Stadium and its museum provide an opportunity to delve into the rich football history of Croatia.

About Croatia National Team

Established in 1990, the Croatia national team has become a prominent force in international football. The team has qualified for most major tournaments since its inception and achieved a third-place finish in the 1998 World Cup. Croatia is often regarded as the top-performing Balkan team in football.

About Dinamo Zagreb

Founded in 1945, Dinamo Zagreb is Croatia’s most popular and successful football club. Competing in the Croatian First League since its establishment, Dinamo Zagreb has won numerous domestic titles. The club traces its heritage back to pre-war football clubs, including Građanski Zagreb and HAŠK.

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Stadion Maksimir’s Illustrious History

Stadion Maksimir has hosted several notable events throughout its history. In 1976, it served as a venue for the UEFA European Championships, with memorable matches such as the semi-final between the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia. The stadium also witnessed captivating performances by renowned artists such as Dire Straits, David Bowie, and U2.

Future Developments

Having undergone renovations in 2011, Stadion Maksimir remains well-maintained. However, recent structural damage caused by an earthquake in 2020 has rendered the East stand temporarily closed. Repairs are underway to restore the stand to its former glory.

FAQs

  • Q: How can I purchase tickets for Croatia national team matches?

    • A: The best way to obtain tickets is by contacting the Croatian Football Association directly. Their website provides relevant information and assistance.
  • Q: Where can I buy tickets for Dinamo Zagreb matches?

    • A: Tickets for Dinamo Zagreb matches can be purchased through the official club website or at the stadium’s box office. The club offers various options for fans to obtain tickets.
  • Q: Are stadium tours available at Stadion Maksimir?

    • A: Yes, stadium tours are available upon prior reservation. Visitors can explore the stadium’s facilities and learn about its history.

Conclusion

Stadion Maksimir stands as a testament to Croatia’s rich football heritage. With a captivating past, unique design, and the presence of both Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian national team, it holds a special place in the hearts of football enthusiasts. Whether attending a match or exploring the stadium, visitors are sure to experience the passion and excitement that surround this historic landmark.

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