Stadion Slaski is a football stadium located in small town of Chorzow, Poland. Though it is not the home ground of any Polish teams, it has regularly witnessed the intense rivalry between local teams Ruch Chorzow and Gornik Zabrze.
It was considered national stadium for Polish national team as the team has played more than 50 international matches here at this venue. Facilities were considered top class and many argued that the stadium was the best in Poland.
However, a massively delayed redevelopment program has thrown Slaski in the obsolation. The stadium reopened after renovation as recently as on September 2017.
The stadium was built in 1956 with a capacity to hold 120,000 fans, under the communist regime of Poland.
The stadium has witnessed many landmarks in Polish football and the dominance of the local teams till late 80s.
The stadium witnessed its first match between East Germany and Poland. Silesian teams Gornik and Ruch had a combined total of 28 Polish Ekstraklasa till 1989. Since then, teams from Poznan and Warsaw have overshadowed them and the current performances of the Silesian clubs is akin to the condition of Slaski.
Silesia and Polish people both take a huge pride about this stadium. It used to regularly host international matches before the horribly stalled renovation program and it was the national stadium from 1992 till 2009.
The most famous Polish win came against USSR here in 1957, which had a great political significance and emotions of people attached to it. Amidst political tensions between the two nations, Polish team defeated the Red Army by a 2-1 scoreline in front of 1,00,000 home fans.
Poland has won against England only once in their history when they beat them 2-0 at Slaski in 1973.
The most remarkable victory of local club Gornik came against Manchester United in the quarter finals of the 1968 European Cup.
With a capacity of close to 90,000 in that time, the stadium accommodated an incredible 120,000 people for a match between Gornik and Austria Wien in 1963.
Renovation Controversy and Recent News
When Poland won the joint rights to host 2012 Euro Cup, it was almost certain that Slaki would make the cut as a venue.
However, its ill-fated renovation began in 2009. It was already racing against time, when in 2011, disaster happened. In a first of its kind accident, the cable roof snapped and caused damage.
With the Euro Cup out of vision, the construction was halted and work failed to pick up ever since till of late when the new Polish Government ordered the completion of the project.
Although the project completed recently and the stadium is better than ever, the future looks bleak as it might be restricted to domestic matches and few international friendlies. A surprising thing is that about 30 new stadiums have been built in Poland since the start of the renovation of Slaski in 2009.