Inside the 50,000-seat stadium that had homeless folks residing in stands
TIME is a relentless and brutal entity, and soccer stadiums are removed from proof against its contact.
The Stadion Za Luzankami in Czechia is one such instance.
The 50,000 seater capability stadium within the Czech metropolis of Brno has fallen into disrepair over time.
Constructed between 1949 and 1953, the Za Luzankami was the most important stadium within the nation within the Nineteen Sixties and 70s.
The house of FC Zbrojovka Brno, the stadium holds the document for the highest-attended recreation within the historical past of the Czech first league with 44,120 at a recreation between Zbrojovka and Slavia Prague in 1996.
Consequently, it holds a legendary standing in Czechia.
Nevertheless, modernisation ultimately noticed the stadium left behind.
Zbrojovka had been compelled to go away in 2001 attributable to Za Luzankami not assembly Fifa and Czech FA standards.
In 2012, plans had been drawn as much as permit Zbrojovka to return because of the reconstruction of the stadium, however amid monetary considerations, the venture was placed on maintain.
Within the absence of an everyday soccer staff, nature quickly took over the stadium.
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Bushes and bushes might be seen rising throughout the stadium, whereas homeless folks started residing within the stands.
The foundations themselves additionally took a mighty beating, with Zbrojovka captain Petr Svancara revealing there was a crack operating by means of the entire stadium.
Nevertheless, Svancara, now 45, took it upon himself to revive the stadium in an effort to play a farewell recreation on the stadium.
His marketing campaign, backed by crowdfunding, ultimately noticed it reopen in 2015 in entrance of an estimated 35,000 supporters.
After the reopening, Svancara advised The Guardian: “When we came back for the first time, you could have shot a beautiful horror movie there…
“The stadium had began to crumble and it was for political causes.
“It wanted reconstruction however no person would maintain it. The membership was moved to Srbska and Luzanky was full of bushes and bushes.
“Homeless folks lived within the stands, and the vegetation that began to take over even turned dwelling for some uncommon species of chook.
“There was one humorous pheasant that we ousted from the stadium once we got here again nevertheless it stored returning a number of instances – he merely got here again dwelling.
“Leaving Luzanki divided the followers into two teams – certainly one of which liked Luzanky an excessive amount of and didn’t need to go to a different stadium
“That was the case with the older generation in particular. It hurt the identity of the club enormously.”
Svancara reckons demand for the grand reopening hit 50,000, with the match seeing two groups composed largely of former FC Zbrojovka Brno gamers.
Talking on the monumental effort to revive the stadium, he revealed: “Tens of individuals got here to assist on the stadium each day.
“No one ever requested me what he would get for it, which is unbelievable within the Czech Republic. The pitch should have value round 100,000 crowns (£3,000) and the man made it for us without cost.
“Many people came every Saturday instead of spending weekends with their families, and I think even people from other cities supported us. It captured people’s hearts.
“At first, we thought we would just clean up one part of the stadium – I was thinking that 5,000 fans would come to the game. But later, we saw that the interest was really big.”
Za Luzankami did turn out to be dwelling to Zbrojovka’s Youth Staff, and plans had been laid naked for a £40m overhaul.
The staff has since left, whereas the bottom has held live shows as lately as July 2022.
Nevertheless, the bottom stays a hotly debated subject.
In January a petition was made towards potential residential development which may see the bottom demolished after a court docket dominated the land belongs to the Metropolis of Brno.