Slovakia May Finally Get a National Football Stadium

The issue of a much-needed national football stadium has come to the fore again as freshly instated PM Robert Fico looks set to adopt it as one of his more popular projects over the next four years.

Tehelne Pole in its glory years

Speaking to the press before Easter, Fico said he had hopes that the new stadium could be a reality before the end of this term of office, despite the difficult financial situation. Slovakia has been lacking a national stadium for years (reportedly the only country in Europe not to have one), but the outgoing government approved partial funding for it in December 2011, in the hope of attracting the right investor.

To date several parties have expressed an interest in taking on the project, most notably the owner of Slovan Bratislava football team Ivan Kmotrik, but he is allegedly not so keen on getting into bed with the state in the project, which has an estimated cost of EUR 50 – 60 million.

If Kmotrik were to be involved in the construction, it would be built on the site of Tehelne Pole, which is currently derelict. PM Fico hinted that in his opinion the Tehelne Pole site is the best location for it, but there may be other issues at play here. When Robert Fico led the government back in 2009, he endorsed a EUR 70 million injection for the construction of the new stadium at Tehelne Pole.

Bratislava City Hall is still in favour of building the national football stadium on a green field, though, with land in Petrlzalka already pinpointed for the project. The stadium should be designed with a capacity of around 20,000, which is not so impressive, but given the attendance records of late, a bigger stadium would most likely be pointless, even when being used for other events like concerts.


  1. The economy will be flat this year and maybe the next one as well. Mr. Fico has made a lot of spending promises to his constituency and is constrained on the income side. The national football stadium is way down on his priorities. The City Council has maxed out the credit cards on the ice hockey stadium, so no money there. Private business investing in it? Haha. The land at Pasienky is council-owned, for now, Mr. K. is sure to be looking into that. Flats there and a shiny new stadium at TP. Or a bent land deal and then trees growing on the pitch 4-5 years later, you never can tell in the SVK.

  2. BTW, the caption on that pic is beautifully ironic. ‘Glory years’ – with just the odd lonely sould dotted around the arena.

  3. I agree that SK has no chance of hosting a major outdoor sports event in the forseeable future so there’s no point discussing the building of a stadium suitable for such a thing.

    Dave is right that, with modern design, you could build sth whose capacity could be increased in stages. 20,000 would be more than enough for most games Slovakia play, and you could still use Zilina when the crowd is likely to drop much below 10,000. But occasionally, even with a 20,000 capacity, demand may outstrip supply. Last time it happened was Slovakia v Slovenia at Tehelne pole when SK could have qualified for WC 2010. For some mysterious reason, the SFZ changed its ticket agent for that game and 22,000 tickets were sold out/given to cronies within four minutes(!) of going on sale.

    Overall, somewhere around 25,000 would be about right, sth like Wigan’s ground (whatever it’s called now), Reading’s, perhaps Bolton’s if you wanted a bit of originality in the design.

    Dave, building projects involving the state don’t only come in late and over-budget in SK. In fact, has there been a bigger fiasco anywhere in this respect than Wembley? And George, have you been to Zilina’s ground? One end of it is the meccano structure you describe. Otherwise, it’s not a bad demonstration of how to build a small, modern ground reasonably quickly and cheaply. A bit like the now sadly disused and overgrown Stary Most ground, which I think we’ve discussed before.

  4. Arena capacity is not such a big issue. With clever planning and design ( job for a foreigner) they could build something that could have its capacity increased in stages as and if required.
    Costs? 50 – 60 million should produce a reasonable, multi purpose stadium but how much of that cash will end up on the gravy train? The cut-purses and till dabblers will be licking their lips in anticipation. Most other building projects the state has got involved in have been grossly over budget and time.
    George, as ever, hit the nail on the head, The global sporting organisations are unlikely to ask the SK to host a cheese and wine party let alone an international sporting event.
    With the financial difficulties facing the country I can not help but think Bobby no Mates sees the proposed National Stadium as a monument to his prowess, it could however, if the past is any guide, become the mausoleum for his political career.

  5. Always amazes me how some arsehole can always in fact, be arsed to check, when they claim they cannot be bothered . I just push the green button to on click, and off they go and saves me the bother of looking it up . BTW . who are the other Prem team with less than 20,000 seats ? QPR and …????

    Struggling to fill it, is hardly the mark of building a National Stadium . It is meant for those BIG nights in sport , say Slovakia v Czech, v England or v German teams , not the other cannon fodder of Europe . Perhaps if the SFA were a bit more pro-active with prestige games against Brazil , Argentina etc would fill the place or perhaps as they do at Arsenal`s Stadium, be the staging ground in Europe for international friendlies, between other teams .

    Not sure Slovakia needs a state of the art place …three sides of bench seats and one side, state of the art posh nosh area , say 35, to 40,000 places .

  6. Eh actually, in the top 3 divisions as you say, there are 24 stadiums with a capacity of less than 20,000 – 2 of those being in the premier league.

    In terms of National Stadiums, I do think that 20,000 is a bit low, in Ireland we have a state of the art 50,000 seater but struggle to fill it, 35,000 being the standard figure. But if Slovakia can produce a quality stadium with a 20,000 capacity at a decent cost, it’s a damn sight better than what they currently have or spending more money than they can afford on a larger arena.

  7. Not sure about thinking BIG Expat, one of the problems is Slovakia have blown their chance for years for holding any more major sporting event …after the Deaf Olympics debacle and the other Big Skiing event that was subject to bribes etc with a guy close to the former PM . What about the hockey stadium and the Word Cup and the final price of that ???

    I knew there would be one , and along waddled Mr Duck ….Other than QPR , I cannot think of one of less than 20,000 capacity and we are talking a National Stadium, for a population of 5.5 million people ?? Even the Welsh have one of a reasonable size , or is it two !?

  8. Eh George, recheck those figures – I cant be arsed checking but there are a rake of premiership teams arounf the 20,000 mark and I know for a fact that the Madejski has 20,000.

  9. 20,000…LOL…..”Larry the Cable Guy” can fill this stadium in the US with one show within 1 hour of ticket sales!

    Come on Slovakia, stop thinking so SMALL!!! Give us something to be PROUD OF!!!

    Sure, at 35 EUR a pop for seats, who will go??? make it free and you will have a full stadium plus standing audience! STUPID money grubbing fools…
    Hmmmm… I can’t get anyone to buy at 10,000…so I raise the price to 15,000 in hope for one sale, instead of lowering the price to 5,000 to get 5 sales! Dumb, just dumb! I will not pay more for less… LEARN from the WEST!

  10. A national stadium with 20,000 capacity ??? Can I think of one stadium in the UK even in the first 3 divisions with so low a seating plan ? What sort of ambition is this from Slovakia .

    No need to build a build a monster, when you could build a maccano set seating one, as perhaps only 30% of the area needs to be offices and other uses . Say upto 40,000 seats ?? Based on the Zilina stad would be a great idea . The the Slovaks and the other thugs can vomit from being drunk, throu the flooring and straight to the ground ?

    I wonder what my old pal, James Baxter thinks ?

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