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Czech sports facilities

photo:  (sxc.hu)

Thanks to the modernization that many sports grounds have undergone over the past few years, sports facilities in the Czech Republic now rank among the best in Europe.


O2 Arena - Prague

First fiddle is without doubt played by the multifunctional O2 Arena (former Sazka Arena), which was built in the Prague neighborhood of Vysočanech in record time. Construction began in September 2002 and the arena, with a maximum capacity of 18,000 spectators, was completed 30 months later.

O2 Arena Arena psses the strictest of comparisons with similar buildings in the United States and, thanks to the technology used, including, for example, a huge video cube, an internal television circuit, top quality acoustics and movable stands, it is the most modern hall of its kind in Europe. Its baptism by fire was the World Ice Hockey Championships in 2004 . It also became the scene for of preparations and then home ice for the Czech national team at the World Cup in 2004 .

The Slavia Praha hockey team also claim Sazka Arena as their home rink. The team is regularly one of the favorites for the Extraliga title. After the construction of the O2 Arena, Czech sporting associations as well as various organizing agencies began to apply for the organization of high-level cultural and sporting events. This is facilitated for them both by the location (the hall is located 10 kilometers from the city center and a mere 20 kilometers from Ruzyně International Airport) and also by the variability of the interior.

The designers prepared more than 30 usage possibilities for the building. After the ice intended for hockey, ice shows and figure skating is cleared away, practically anything can be organized within the stadium. The possibilities can range across a deck floor for collective sports, an indoor athletics stadium layout, a concert stage, exhibition halls, and a circus ring, and even right through to areas intended for street theater. Sazka Arena offers its visitors a luxurious level of comfort in the form of 2,460 club seats, 66 skyboxes, four luxury party boxes and 2,900 places in its bars, restaurants and cafes.

O2 Arena: http://www.sazkaarena.cz/O2arenaEN/default.aspx

ČEZ Aréna - Vítkovice

Because of the World Ice Hockey Championships the ČEZ Aréna in Vítkovice, had to undergo significant reconstruction. Some of the most important changes were the three-story addition, the expansion of the parking area and the installation of new sound and lighting equipment. After an investment of approximately CZK 700 million, the hall, which has been in operation since 1986, became fully able to compete with new multipurpose sports stands. Its capacity is between 4,000 and 13,000, depending on the event.


Other Czech cities have also invested funds into reconstructions rather than into providing completely new buildings. Nevertheless, the resulting sporting facilities are regarded as being some of the best in Europe:

Tipsport arena - Liberec

Liberec’s multi-functional arena was opened to great fanfare in 2005. The state-of-the-art building has seating for 9000 spectators and serves both for sporting events as well as cultural and social events. In terms of the caliber of its facilities and services, the Tipsport arena ranks among the top stadiums of its kind both in Europe and the world.

ČEZ Aréna - Pardubice

Operations at the Pardubice Duhová Arena recommenced in December 2001 after eight months of construction work, which changed the face of the over 50-year-old  hockey stadium.


Budvar aréna - České Budějovice

Similar work was carried out in České Budějovice, where the original stadium was built in 1946. This venue, after Prague and Bratislava, provided the former Czechoslovakia with its three ice stadiums. The modifications to the Budvar Arena in the city were however extended because the stadium, located near the Vltava River, was devastated by flooding in August 2002.

T-Mobile Aréna - Prague

The T-Mobile Arena in Prague fits into the same multi-use category. The arena can often change to a large concert venue within only a few hours of hosting the Sparta Praha hockey team.

Other sports venues are, however, not being left behind in the wake of these modern multifunctional complexes. The Bohemian-Moravian Football Association’s "Stadiums" project of 2003 outlines how all first-division soccer clubs must fulfill the demanding requirements of the European Football Federation.

Sparta football club stadium  - Prague

The AXA Arena (former Toyota Arena) in Prague is best-positioned in this respect. It is home to the country’s Champions League team, Sparta Praha. Since 2001, its pitch has benefited from an under ground heating as well as a modern irrigation system. The equipment automatically switches on after being prompted by sensors located directly on the playing field. In 2002-0303, Sparta Praha also established a unique youth training center in the Czech Republic.

Strahov Stadium - Prague

Six grass areas and two sports fields with artificial turf were created at the Strahov Stadium, That puts the facility, with its record-breaking surface area of more than 6 hectares, into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Pardubice steeplechase course

The Pardubice steeplechase course is also world-famous. It has been the scene of the Velká pardubická steeplechase since 1874. The acclaimed event is seen as the most challenging horse race on the continent of Europe.
The Pardubice steeplechase course: http://www.pardubice-racecourse.cz/?lang=en

Similarly, golf lovers are well aware of the attractive and sought-after courses at Karlštejn and Karlovy Vary.
Prague Karlštejn Golf Klub: http://www.karlstejn-golf.cz/index.php?id1=1000&id2=1〈en
Golf Club Karlovy Vary: http://www.golfresort.cz/en/main-page/

Added: 01.01.2010

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