This week we will present you, fellow groundhoppers, “Top 3 stadiums in Bucharest that are no longer used”. As you guys know, the best groundhopping experience it is when you visit a stadium and you see a game there, but defunct stadiums have their beauty too. The beauty comes from the mix of feelings, the sadness that is present everywhere you look and the happiness that you feel knowing that you are in a piece of history. That’s why I decided to present you the best 3 stadiums from Bucharest, where, at the moment, nobody plays.
3. Regie Stadium
Regie Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bucharest, Romania, built in 1920. It was used mostly for football matches and was the home ground of Sportul Studentesc, a team with a long and beautiful history in the romanian football. It can hosts up to 10.000 people. The stadium hosted matches in the Romanian First League, Romanian Cup, Romanian Super Cup and even UEFA Cup, during the ’80. The biggest attendance was at a UEFA Cup match between Sportul Studentesc and Hellas Verona (0-1), when 15.000 people filled up the stadium. Here played Gheorghe Hagi when he was the player of Sportul Studentesc (1983-1987). It is located in the the center of Bucharest so it is easy to find. You should visit the stadium if you are in Bucharest, until it is not too late, because it will be soon demolated and rebuilt because in 2020 Bucharest will be host city for EURO 2020 and needs 4 new additional stadiums as training grounds for the teams that will play on National Arena.
2. Cotroceni Stadium
Cotroceni is a football stadium in Bucharest, Romania. The stadium was built in 1995, being the first stadium built, after the Romanian Revolution of 1989. It had a capacity of 14,500 people, now many of the plastic seats were takken (if you visit it, you will see just a few). It was the home ground of Progresul Bucureşti a.k.a. FC National. The stadium hosted Romanian Cup finals from 2004 and 2005 and several matches in UEFA Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup. When FC National was in the first league, the atmosphere was very nice at the matches because of the fans and a mariachi band called “Los Platanos” who were singing during the whole game. After the team went bankruptcy in 2009, BNR (Romanian National Bank), the owner of the stadium, kicked out FC National from the stadium because of the debts. After this, the stadium was used for concerts of several artists like: Enrique Iglesias, RBD, Deep Purple and Metallica. Even an International rugby union match between France and Romania was played here in 2006. It has a central position, close to the House of the Parliament, so it is a must to visit it if you are close to the city center.
Ghencea known as Steaua Stadium was built in 1974 for Steaua Bucharest. At the time it was one of the first football-only stadiums ever built in Romania. It has a capacity of 27.000 seats. The stadium has been renovated in 1996 and 2006 in order to host UEFA Champions League games. The Romanian national football team was also a tenant, on Ghencea were played over 50 international games. Unirea Urziceni, the romanian championships in 2008/2009, used the stadium for their Uefa Champions League and Europa League matches. The stadium hosted very important matches for the romanian football, like: ECC: Steaua–Anderlecht (3–0) 1986; ECC: Steaua–Galatasaray (4–0) 1989 or UEFA Cup: Steaua–Valencia (2–0) 2005. A scandal started in 2015 between Steaua’s owner and the Romanian Army, the owner of the stadium, made Steaua to use different stadiums across the country (it was even an episode made by Copa90 about the scandal between these two sides) for their home matches. Now there are discussions about an agreement for Steaua to go back home. The stadium will be renovate for EURO 2020, because of the UEFA reglementations (the same situation like Regie Stadium). It is easy to visit it, from the center of Bucharest to the stadium there is a 25 min trip by tram or bus.