Finnish football grounds

This is not a football country, it’s an ice hockey country. So you cannot expect to get the atmosphere of a Hillsborough or Celtic Park. More likely is that you’ll get a Griffin Park, a small ground, fit for purpose, that encourages people to sing and keeps the noise in while providing the facilities you’d expect.

As this is a positive article, I’ll start with the best football stadium in Finland. Tammela is a district close to Tampere city centre, populated by a mix of families, students and pensioners, and it contains some of the oldest residential property in the city. In the civil war of 1918 it was devastated in Mannerheim’s assault on Tampere, and there is now a strange mix of beautiful old tenement buildings and much newer apartment blocks.

Tammela’s football ground was one of the first dedicated football facilities in Finland. The fence around the pitch was built by unemployed labourers in the 1930s depression, and is now a protected structure. It has been an obstacle for those wishing to redevelop the ground.

Tammela fence

This has hindered plans for redevelopment of the stadium, which periodically re-appear. Until 1993 the ground wasn’t much to look at, and major football games in Tampere took place at Ratina or Pyynikkin Stadion, but then a refurbishment took place and the ground was the home for ‘big football’ in Tampere. The main stand was built then.

main stand

As you can see, it’s not that big, but when it’s even a quarter full the atmosphere is quite something. The floodlight pylons are a great landmark at night matches too, and when Tampere United played TPS at Tammela in front of 1,800 people in 2007, the atmosphere was one of the best I’ve ever seen at a TamU home game.

viihdon kotona!

This is the pre-match display from Tampere United fans before the TPS game. It means ‘home at last’, a sentiment I heartily agree with.

The second best football ground in Finland is of course the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki:

Helsinki olympic stadium

When full, this is an amazing place to watch football. Even when it isn’t full, the atmosphere is pretty good thanks to the Finland fans in block B20.

Now we should move on to other grounds. Hietalahti Stadium in Vaasa is a wonderful old wooden ground. It was built in 1936 and holds 4,600 spectators, of which 1,500 are under cover. VPS and VIFK play there at the moment, and the ground has hosted Under 21 internationals in the recent past. HMK has taken some wonderful photos of the ground, and the best thing I can do is post them here rather than trying to talk about the place:

IMG_3528

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IMG_3465

IMG_3516

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Veritas Stadion in Turku used to be one of the worst stadia in the league before the new main stand was built in 2003. After that the stadium has been considered one of the best if not the best in Finland. It is the home for both Turku teams in Veikkausliiga, TPS and FC Inter, and the stadium will also host some games in the Women’s European Championships in 2009. The ground will have one more stand built at one of the ends by that time.

The stadium is an interesting mixture of old and new, with the modern main stand and the old-fashioned Olympic Stand. The capacity of the stadium lies somewhere around 9000, with 6400 seats.

Kupittaan stadion 002
This is the old main stand, built for the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games. The stand was renamed “Olympiakatsomo”, which would translate to “the Olympic Stand” to herald the history of the stadium.

Kupittaan stadion 006
This is basically all they have for customers behind the old stand: 3 kiosks and a bar (to the left of the kiosk on the left). They have another bar too, but only those belonging to the respective supporter clubs of TPS or Inter have access.

Kupittaan stadion 005
The announcer’s box has seen better days, but I believe it’s still good enough.

Kupittaan stadion 004
This is what they have at both ends of the stadium for those who want to stand while watching the game. It goes without saying that the ends are the places with the worst view in Turku. The situation should be better as soon as the new stand is built.

Kupittaan stadion 003
This is the new main stand. It is quite modern and enjoyable with heating and a bar from which you can watch the game, and I wouldn’t mind getting myself one of the boxes (one level above the seats) or soft club seats. I have just one complaint, the green seats. It would look so much nicer if the stand had blue seats, similarly to the old main stand.

Kupittaan stadion 008
This is from under the main stand. Local rivals are dressing room neighbours. The FC Inter dressing room is on the left side, while the TPS players set themselves up behind the door on the right.

Kupittaan stadion 009
The players’ tunnel.

19 Responses

  1. Hi,nice site,i love those wooden stadiums,so nice
    anyway i’m from Serbia ;D

  2. will FC Honka play the UEFA Cup game against IA in Espoo, i see that last year they played Intertoto games in Vantaa

  3. yea it will be played in Vantaa again, cos their own stadium isnt good enough for UEFA..

  4. ok, thanks 🙂

  5. My name is Seun Oloyede by name i was born in africa in Nigeria in the City of lagos and i chose football as a Career i am so intrested in your club and l like to come overthere for a tryer .I came acress your website by Google and i am so lucky to see it ,but presently i am in Dubai now cause i came with a two week visa just to come and visit my friend .I will be so happy if you can send me a invitation letter i will be so glad to recieve and be your club for a tryer and i am sure you will never regreat this .

    This are my details below …

    Name .Oluwaseun Oloyede.

    Age 23.

    Position;No 10 .

    Previous; Clubs . All stars and Olaoluwa Babes.

    League. Ikeja League.

    Email; Seun.oloyede@yahoo.com

    Phone Number .+234 80 59241324.+971557972491.

    That is all my details and i will be checking my mail to see your reply hope to hear from you soon .

    Regards

    Seun

  6. i came across of this site in search of clubs.well i am a good footballer i.e goalkeeper but new here in fanland from nigeria who wish to join a club here.

    wish to hear from you.

  7. What a great site!
    I came across this site while searching for finnish football before a one week stay in Helsinki.

  8. I AM A FOOTBALLER FROM NIGERIA ,AM A STRIKER AND AM 6FT TALL,I WANT TO COME OVER FOR A TRIAL.I KNOW AM THE KIND OF PLAYER U ARE LOOKING FOR.

  9. lasha is veri good footboller and levani too

  10. dear sir , i am footballer from cameroon in africa and i am looking for a team over there .i play as midfielder and can also play as striker .i have participated in many tournament in singapour and in hong kong .prsently i am in Gabon .if you are interested please contact me so we can discuss.

    PS: i am a native french speaker

  11. I use to think that Sweden have the worst arenas in Europe, but I´m proved wrong…

  12. someone should make it clear that this is not a ‘club ‘ webpage ,or anything to do with scouting players .
    or are u an agent aswell Egan?

  13. I think that is fairly clear, if you bother to read anything on the site. I’m certainly not an agent but am in two minds about these comments – someone has obviously posted them hoping to get a response, and it seems a bit cruel to remove them. I don’t want to have to vet comments, so for now we’ll leave things as they are.

  14. By ‘you’, I mean ‘one’, but I’m not posh enough to actually write it. I definitely don’t mean ‘finnbrit’.

  15. pls sir am a footballer from nigeria but am presently in malaysia. pls sir i want to ask for afavour that is an addimission into your club am a good player i played 9 pls sir i will be grageful if you atend to my request thanks and god bless.

  16. am a nigerian by nationality and a young football midfielder seeking for a football academy.i will really appreciate it if your academy can give me a chance to display my God given talent under your wonderful supervision.this is my tel number incase you might need more information about me 08030684703

  17. if theres any vacancies for soccer players for trails contact me via emmanuelfigo2003@yahoo.com
    your not gonna regret this coach and agents

  18. My name Babatunde balogunby name i was born in africa in Nigeria in the City of lagos and i chose football,athletic as a Career i am so intrested in your club and l like to come overthere for a tryer .I came acress your website and i am so lucky to see it ,but presently i am in nigerian, I will be so happy if you can send me a invitation letter i will be so glad to recieve and be your club for a tryer and i am sure you will never regreat this .

    This are my details below

  19. DEAR MANAGER, COACH, TECHNICAL ADVISER, MY NAME IS UCHECHUKWU Nwaemeh DANILE FROM NIGERIA. I AM 18YEARS OLD AND I PLAY FOR UNDER 15, 17 AND IN JUNIOR TEAM. I AM A VERY TELENTED, FOCUSSED AND SKILLFULL PLAYER WITH GREAT POTENTIALS. I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY IN YOUR YOUTH FOOTBALL ACADEMY TEAM AND I PROMISE TO DO MY BEST IN THE UPLIFTING OF YOUR ESTEEMED FOOTBALL CLUB. I BELIVE THAT MY TRIALS WILL DEFINITELY CONVINCE YOU. I WAS BORN A FOOTBALLER AND WAS TRAINED AS A ULTILITE PLAYER AND I WOULD LOVE IF YOU GIVE ME THE CHANCE/OPPORTUNITY TO PROOVE MYSELF TO YOU AND THE CLUB. I AM A GOOD FOOTBALLER AND I WANT TO TAKE MY FOOTBALL CARRIER TO THE NEXT LEVEL. I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO JOIN YOUR YOUTH FOOTBALL ACADEMY AS I WANT TO MAKE NIGERIANS PROUD OF ME. PLEASE KINDLY BRIEF ME ON HOW I CAN JOIN YOUR YOUTH FOOTBALL ACADEMY AS I PROMISE TO UPLIFT THE CLUB TO A GREATER HEIGHT. ATTACHED IS MY FOOTBALL CV FOR YOU TO GO THROUGH. I DO HOPE TO READ/HEAR FROM YOU COACH/MANAGER. THANK YOU. YOURS FAITHFULLY THIS MY PHONE NUMBER +2348080460051 OR E-MAIL CHIBEST_01@YAHOO.COM

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