21-07-2003: Malmo FF 0 IF Elfsborg 0 (Allsvenskan) Malmo Stadium, Malmo, Sweden
A rare thing this match in that it represents one of the few occasions that I’ve managed to wangle free tickets for a game, my tickets coming courtesy of the Malmo Hotel at which I was staying. The hotel also being a convenient few minutes walk from the ground.
Malmo Stadium, like the Ullevi in Gothenburg that I talked about earlier this week, was built for the 1958 World Cup, and, like its counterpart to the north, was designed by the same architects, Fritz Jaenecke and Sten Samuelson. Although the capacity of the Malmo Stadium is considerably smaller, 31,000 at time of construction compared to the Ullevi’s 52,500, the similarities in design are quite noticeable.
The roof of the main stand is high at its centre and then tapers down behind each goal in such a marked way that there is room beneath it for just a row or two of seats. Looks very nice but given the athletics track that separates spectator from pitch I would imagine sitting here offers a pretty useless view of the action. Unlike my seats in the upper tier on the half-way line!
Four free-standing concrete floodlight pylons were added in 1960 but it wouldn’t be until the early 1990’s that further significant work would be carried out. In readiness for the 1992 European Football Championships (England played two of their 3 group matches here) a new and much simpler 3,000 seater stand was erected opposite the main stand. This was part of a much larger development that saw the construction of a bowling hall, ice hockey/skating stadium and a general purpose indoor arena that turned the area into one of Europe’s largest sports complexes.
Further renovations to the stadium have been considered since but in late 2005 the decision was taken by Malmo Municipality to build a new football only stadium for the city. So, in 2007, construction of the new 24,000 capacity Swedbank Stadion began just a matter of meters away from the old stadium. It has been the home of Malmo FF since 2009.