The Gamla Ullevi Stadium (Old Ullevi) is home to three Goteborg football clubs: IFK Goteborg, Orgryte IS and GAIS. The stadium was inaugurated in September 1916.
It has a capacity of about 17.000, of which 12.000 places are standings. Unfortunately, the plan is to demolish Gamla Ullevi and to replace it by a new football stadium.
The Gamla Ullevi Stadium is located right in the city centre; just about 500 m east of the main train station.
Goteborg is a football obsessed city. With IFK Goteborg, Orgryte IS and GAIS it has 3 teams playing in the Allsvenskan league. Allsvenskan is the highest football league with the 14 top Swedish clubs.
When I was in Goteborg I took the chance to visit the match IFK Goteborg vs. Helsingborg IF. The standing ticket was 120 SEK and the attendance in the Gamla Ullevi Stadium was 8.150. The match ended with a 2:2 draw.
Websites of the clubs:
The Ullevi Stadium is one of Sweden's most famous stadiums. The all-seater arena with a capacity of 43.000 was opened in 1958 when Sweden hosted the football world cup.
Since then it has hosted numerous football and athletics events as well as rock and pop concerts. The stadium isn't home to any of Goteborg's football clubs. Nevertheless, games between the local clubs often take place in the Ullevi Stadium.
The 19th European Athletics Championships will take place in the Ullevi Stadium from the 6th to the 13th August 2006.
The Ullevi Stadium is located behind the Gamla Ullevi Stadium; just about 600 m east of the main train station.
As I mentioned in my football tip, Göteborg hosts the Gothia Cup football event every summer too when lots of children from around the world invade the city. They are accommodated in city schools and play in sports fields all over town, the best teams then battling it out in the final stages on the Heden football ground (normally used by local hobby football teams for excersising) in the city centre, on the road to New Ullevi which you can see in the distance in this picture. Children make friends for life and it is always interesting to see teams from Africa and South America meet Swedish and other "almost local" teams from around Europe. If you coach a youth team, why not enrol it :)
Gais is the second club in Gothenburg. As IFK Gothenburg and Orgryte they were playing at the Gamla Ullevi stadium, these three forming an old alliance.
They regained their first division status for the season 2006, and are playing in Allsvenskan also in 2007.
If the supporters of Orgryte traditionally are from the richer areas of Gothenburg, the supporters of Gais are, in general, on the left side of the political curva. They are quite english inspired, singing quite many songs in english instead of swedish, although this has changed a bit the last years.
Their biggest rivals are the supporters from IFK Gothenburg, plus from the three teams from Stockholm (AIK, Djurgården and Hammarby).
The manager of the club is Roland Nilsson, who was a nationalteam player for Sweden for many years, winning a bronze medal in the World Cup 1994. He's doing great at Gais, and is widely tipped to be the next manager for Sweden when Lars Lagerbäck quits in 2008.
Equipment: As for both Gais, Orgryte and IFK Gothenburg there are two types of ticket you can buy. Either to the seating stands, where you'll have your chair. Or to the standing stands, where there are no seats, and you stand up wherever you want.
Prices goes from 120 SEK up to about 200 SEK. Cheaper for youngsters (up to 15 years old) and families.
Derby games are much more expensive though.
Gothenburg is a very sporty city, with football (soccer) being number one. The most famous club in the city, and in Sweden, is IFK Gothenburg. They have won the swedish league 17 times, although the latest title came back in 1996, and the Uefa cup twice. They have also played in the Champions League group stage four times, and even won their group once before clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United and Galatasaray.
Until last year they played at Gamla Ullevi (Old Ullevi) and shared that stadium with Gais and Örgryte. Now that stadium has been destroyed though, to give space for a newly built stadium which will be ready in the autumn 2008. Until then both IFK and Gais plays at Ullevi, the huge stadium next door.
If you chose just one team, I would go for one with IFK Gothenburg, for sure.
The swedish season goes from april to the beginning of november, although there are also the Nordic league (the four best teams from Sweden, Norway and Denmark) played in november-december and february-may. Best time to catch a game should be in the summer when the fields are in their best conditions.
Equipment: Nothing special. If you want to fit in with the supporters you can grab a scarf or a shirt, but make sure it's in the right colours... :)
IFK Gothenburg is blue and white.
Orgryte is red and blue.
Gais is green and black.
Hacken is yellow and black.
Qviding is violett.
Frolunda is green and white.
One of the best things with Gothenburg is that there are so many football clubs, meaning that you should be able to catch at least one game every round. After IFK Gothenburg I would earlier say that Orgryte is the second team in the city, seen to the amount of supporters.
Now, though, Örgryte is in 2007 playing in the second division, while I must put them down as number three in the city, after IFK and Gais.
They too used to play at Gamla Ullevi before it was taken down, and while they are waiting for the new stadium they are this year playing at Valhalla IP, a small stadium they share with the women team of Gothenburg, Göteborg FC.
In 2006 they did crap, were relegated. Their best (or only if one wants to be mean...) player, Ailton Almeida, was sold to FC Copenhagen during last season.
The atmosphere at these games aren't even close to those of IFK Gothenburg, with the media crowd being around 4 000.
The best game to catch with Orgryte should be a derby against IFK.
There are a few teams in Gothenburg.
IFK, ÖIS, Frölunda and Häcken are some teams.
But THE team is GAIS.
Since there is a new stadium being build where Gamla Ullevi once stood, our temporary home stadium is Ullevi. Way too big for us, but it will have to do for now.
They have a home game every other weekend during the summer. The swedish season starts around april lasts until somwhere around september.
For a complete fixture list, go to: Fixtures Allsvenskan
If you are in Gothenburg, don't miss them!
Also, for further pictures and info, check my GAIS travelogue here: GAIS Travelogue
Equipment: Wear a black and green shirt. Or a black or a green one. 'Cause GAIS plays in the most beautiful of dresses, green and black striped shirts.
Also, memorize theese words: "Heja GAIS"!
Pronounce it: "Hey-ya guys"!
Häcken is the fourth team from Gothenburg currently in the first division of Swedish football. Although always seen as a very little baby brother by the other clubs, they have recently really started to make their marks in Swedish football.
Thanks to the yearly youth tournament Gothia Cup the club's economy is more than solid and they have more than once lately managed to grab a player right in front of the eyes of the bigger clubs in the city.
Häcken, which also is a nickname for "ass" in Sweden (don't ask me what they were thinking when they chose that name for the club...) is from the Gothenburg island Hisingen, and they are, as a way to challenge the bigger clubs and get more spectators, trying to promote themselves as something special. This season they even claimed their independency from Gothenburg, thankfully without any violence involved... :)
Their stadium Rambergsvallen is unfortunately far from good, with atletic tracks along the pitch. That in combination with low amount of spectators makes a visit at a Häcken-game quite boring.
At least you will almost never have to be afraid of not getting a ticket for the game. :)
In Gothenburg there are also Qviding (relegated from the second division in 2006) and Frölunda (playing in the third division). Their stadiums are a bit out of the city center. Frölunda plays at Ruddalen and Qviding at Torpavallen.
Equipment: As at Gamla Ullevi there are two types of tickets. Standing or sitting. Prices range from 100 to 180 SEK something I think.
I did get to see a match of the famous IFK Göteborg - although it wasn't in Göteborg but down in Helsingborg, 2 hours south of Göteborg (they won against Helsingborg 0-2). They are definitely an excellent team - they finished second on the ladder this season.
The club was formed in 1904 and since then they have won in the Swedish league 17 times.
To be honest I can't really tell you much more about the club than that - but if you check out Calcio's Göteborg Page, you will find a HEAP of information about IFK Göteborg and other football/soccer related things in Göteborg.
Gothia Cup is the worlds largest football tournament and commonly known as the World Youth Cup.
Every year Gothenburg is invaded by hordes of promising, and not so promising, young footballers.
The year 2004 there were over 23.000 players battleing it out on 91 pitches and since the start of the tournament 120 countries has had teams competing.
GAIS is in third place in the marathon table over the most successful clubs in the cup. Fellow Gothenburg team Häcken is nr 1. In second place we find the crowd favourite Tahuichi from Bolivia.
Over the years many famous football people have been involved in the Gothia Cup. Last year england coach Sven-Göran Eriksson managed a israeli/palestinian team and erlier George Weah sent a Liberian team to the tournament. Some of those players are now playing in the swedish premier division! Also players like Alan Shearer has played in this tournament.
Another highlight is the opening ceremony that can rival most big openings save the oplypic ones.
The finalist gets to play their finals on Ullevi stadium in front of 23.000 (2003) spectators!
Equipment: Well... your football kit if you are playing...
Göteborg has several teams in the Swedish premier league year after year. IFK Göteborg might be the most popular (and known abroad after their Champions success with England's "Svennis" in the 80s) but Örgryte (ÖIS), Frölunda, Häcken and GAIS are other teams worth noticing. You will easily find tickets to all games. For IFK, check http://www.ifkgoteborg.se/mainset.html for dates and times ("Nästa match"). IFK usually don't play in the "new" Ullevi where the World Athletics Championships were held but in Old Ullevi nearby.
Every summer there is also the now very famous Gothia Cup for children. Teams come from all over the world to battle it out on most of the city football grounds.
The Gothia Cup enters the new century as the world's foremost youth football tournament - a position which demands constant high quality, development and vision. Our aim is to offer 1,200 teams from some 60 nations something way above the ordinary. Something which is only to be found at the Gothia Cup. The international matches against teams from the far corners of the earth are just a part of this. Equally important is the chance to see some of the world's best footballers, listen to the hottest pop artists, test the latest in IT, and of course, meet friends from all over the world.
-from the Gothia Cup website.
I was there last year during the tournament, and although it's cute to see thousands of kids walking the streets and waving flags while displaying intense pride for their respective countries, the screaming is absolutely ear splitting!