Club: AIK | Opening: 2012 | Capacity: 50,000 seats
History and description
The Friends Arena is Sweden’s recently opened new national stadium. It replaces the old Råsunda Fotbollstadion.
Plans were initially made to rebuilt Råsunda into a modern stadium, but this soon turned out to be not viable and instead was chosen to build a new stadium altogether.
From 2007, the proposed stadium went by the sponsor name of Swedbank Arena, but in 2012 sponsor Swedbank decided to rename the stadium to Friends Arena.
Construction of the stadium began in May 2009, and the Friends Arena officially opened on the 27th of October 2012 with a concert night of Swedish artists.
The first football match at the stadium will be played on the 14th of November 2014 when the Swedish national team takes on the English.
The Friends Arena will become the home of local side AIK from the start of the 2013 season. In a referendum, the club’s fans chose the arena over the Tele2 Arena, which is currently still under construction.
The Friends Arena is a multifunctional arena that can be easily adapted in size. It is expected to host multiple concerts and other large events each year. It furthermore has a retractable roof that can be opened and closed in 20 minutes.
The Friends Arena is located in Solna, a suburb of Stockholm situated about 5 kilometres north of its city centre and central railway station. The stadium lies in a predominantly residential neighbourhood, just north of the old Råsunda Fotbollstadion.
From the E4/E20, take exit 167 toward Solna/Sundbyberg, and follow the Frösundaleden toward Solna Centrum. Turn right directly after the railway station. While construction works on the adjacent shopping centre and hotels continue, there is limited parking available near the Friends Arena.
If using public transport, the stadium is best reached by train as Solna station is located almost next to the arena. Trains run regularly from Stockholm’s central station (T-Centralen). The journey only takes 7 minutes.
Metro stations Solna Centrum and Näckrosen also lie at reasonable walking distance from the stadium. Take line T11 from Stockholm’s central station.
Address: Friends Arena, Solna
Eat, drink, and sleep
The Friends Arena is located in a quiet area, which is a mix of residential housing and modern offices. The area around the arena is going to be further developed with a large shopping centre, hotels, and residential buildings, though it will take a few years for this to complete.
There is little in terms of eating and drinking in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. Solna’s small centre it located an approximate 20-minute walk away, but it makes more sense to eat and drink in Stockholm’s centre and catch a quick train to the stadium.
The Park Inn Hotel and Maude’s Hotel are situated in Solna’s centre, though fall in the higher price range. Hotel All Seasons and Scandic Järva Krog are close to the E4 and therefore conveniently located for those arriving by car. They are separated from the Friends Arena by the railroad tracks though, and (still) require a short train ride or long walk to get to the stadium.
Click here for all hotels near the Friends Arena. It is, however, just as easy to get a hotel in Stockholm’s city centre as the train ride does not take long. Click here for the options in the centre.
AIK will start playing their home matches at the Friends Arena from the start of the 2013 season. The 2012 season will be completed at Råsunda Fotbollstadion.
The Friends Arena offers guided stadium tours that include the dressing rooms, VIP loges, and press areas. The tours last about 45 minutes.
Tours run every Tuesday at 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 8:00 pm, and Thursdays at 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 5:00 pm.
The tour costs SEK 125.00. Ticket can be booked on the official website of the Friends Arena.
Relevant Internet links