In a move that marks the end of an era, Sparta Prague, one of Prague’s football clubs, is bidding farewell to Letná stadium, which has witnessed over a century of football history. “The club needs increased seating capacity,” as reported by Tomáš Křivda, a representative of Sparta Prague, in an interview with Radiožurnál.
The wooden stadium opened in 1921 and hosted the third Women’s World Games in 1930. It was later replaced with a concrete grandstand in 1937. In 1969, all grandstands were updated to concrete, expanding capacity to 20,000 spectators. Further seating added in 1994 removed the running track.
Letná frequently hosted international matches, including a 1989 FIFA World Cup qualifier. It remained an international stadium after Czechoslovakia’s dissolution, hosting Czech Republic national team matches from 1995 on.
In 2001, significant renovations were undertaken to revamp the playing surface of the Letná stadium, providing a much-needed facelift to the facility. Further improvements in 2009 aimed to enhance the overall fan experience and the stadium’s functionality.
Despite previous upgrades, the aging Letná stadium has reached its limits in terms of expansion and modernization. With a surge in the number of passionate supporters, there is a pressing need for a larger and more modern venue. Recognizing this, Křivda, a prominent figure within the club, is embarking on the journey of constructing a new stadium.
The new stadium, planned to be in Strahov, will be able to accommodate up to 30,000 fans. The project’s objective is not only to provide a larger seating capacity but also to incorporate contemporary amenities. This venture represents a pivotal moment in the club’s history and a commitment to the vibrant football culture of Prague.
The relocation project is expected to come at a substantial cost, requiring funding from private investors and possibly government support. Additionally, the development of new public transportation infrastructure will be essential to ensuring convenient access to the proposed stadium.
The potential benefits of this move are not limited to Sparta alone. The new stadium could serve as a modern and versatile venue for various sporting and cultural events, for instance, as the possible new home ground for the Czech Republic’s national football team.
The news of Sparta’s departure from Letná has stirred a mixed reaction among fans. Some express nostalgia for leaving behind a historic site, while others eagerly anticipate the prospect of a new and improved stadium. However, fans have time to wrap their heads around the idea because the club has not officially announced a timeline for the construction of the new facility or their departure from Letná.