The Stockholms Stadion home of Djurgården/Älvsjö has a rich history stretching back to the 1912 Olympics.
By Jan Juhlin
The Stockholms Stadion home of Djurgården/Älvsjö has a rich history stretching back almost a century and is worth a visit even if there is not a game on. Known locally as the Stadion or the Klocktornet (clock tower) it is one of the quaintest venues in Europe.
The ground was designed by esteemed Swedish architect Torben Grut and maintains the romantic aura it had for the 1912 Olympic Games, untouched by the whims of 20th-century architecture. Although its primary use now is as the home to Djurgården/Älvsjö and male counterparts Djurgårdens IF, the stadium has witnessed no less than 80 world records in athletics, most notably Patrik Sjöberg's 1987 mark of 2m42 in the high jump.
The stadium housed a boxing section between 1917 and 1922, an ice hockey team for 40 years from 1922 in addition to clubs in sports as diverse as fencing, cycling, table tennis and bandy. The football club arrived in 1936 and ten years later attracted a record crowd of 22,108 for a derby against AIK Solna.
However, it is the stadium's status as a listed historical site that has proved more of a hindrance to Djurgårdens IF than the capacity of 14,500 in recent years. Attempts to revamp or rebuild the old-fashioned arena have been dashed by red tape, although the club's supporters enjoy such an affinity with the Stockholms Stadion that they are reluctant to call for a move.