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Letná Stadium is the stadium where Sparta has been based for decades. However, Sparta spent the first two decades elsewhere than at Letná. How has our home progressed?

Vinohrady and Holešovice

Even though the first place of our club's operation was Královské Vinohrady, it was only a formal step. The founders of Sparta, the Maleček brothers, hoped that the rich city would support their sporting activities more than the neighboring Prague. However, they did not receive any support or even a place to play sports, and so they continued their activities in Maniny, together with the athletics, cycling and skating club AC Praha, from which they had previously broken away.
At the beginning of the twentieth century a great crisis hit our club, the lack of finances affected not only the players but also the facilities, which Sparta had none at that time. Sparta trained on the plaza near Invalidovna, most of the matches were played on Císařské meadow. It was not until 1904 that the Spartans got their first real pitch. It stood opposite the Holešovice brewery and saw the first major successes of the club, for which the legendary Jan Košek scored most of the goals at that time. However, another move came a year later.
Letná was the mecca of Prague football at that time, where a number of football associations, including Slavia, were already based. Fortunately, there was still some space for Sparta, namely in the place of today's Technical Museum, where a real football stadium soon grew. It was far from the luxury of the nearby Slavic one, it had neither hot showers nor a smooth turf, but it was in this modest environment that the first Iron Sparta was born. In the canteen, run by the mother of Karel Pesek-Kádi, Vlasta Burian performed and practiced his acting stunts, the footballers sat there after every match and training session and thus the great team was formed, which for four years did not lose a single match.

Dominant of Letná

The last move was in 1917, when Sparta moved only a few hundred meters to the west, to the site of today's stadium. It opened with a 3:2 victory over Viktoria Plzen. The original modest stands were greatly improved in 1921, when a new stand for 1,700 spectators, the largest in Central Europe at the time, was built and inaugurated in record time (less than two months). It was wooden, in a beautiful English style, and in the middle of the roof was a shield with the proud inscription AC Sparta. An architectural gem and a landmark of Letná. The team around Pilát and Janda-Oček christened it with a 2-0 victory over the Danish champions KB Copenhagen.

Expansion of the stands

The capacity of the stadium was then around 22,000 spectators and with Sparta's growing fame it was no longer enough. In 1934, the plan was to expand the stands to accommodate twice as many visitors. Work was done day and night to get everything in time for the upcoming important matches. But then came April 10, one of the blackest days in the club's history. A huge fire broke out in the bowels of the main wooden stand and completely destroyed it. 180 trophies, all the club's chronicles, jerseys, football boots, players' licenses, restaurants and offices were irretrievably lost... It was not easy to rebuild the stadium, and it was not until 1937 that spectators were able to visit the new main stand for the first time, which, with a few modifications, has served us reliably ever since. The stadium suffered further damage from German cannons in 1945, but fortunately it was not nearly as bad as that caused by the fire.

One of the most modern stadiums in Europe

Between 1967 and 1969, the three remaining stands were given a new coat of paint, enclosing the stadium and turning it into a purely football stadium for 35,000 spectators, one of the most modern in Europe at the time. However, this was the last makeover it received under socialism. When Sparta's new owner, Petr Mach, took over in the early 1990s, he quickly undertook the necessary reconstruction. Although the capacity was reduced to 20,000 visitors, each of them has their own seat and all parameters meet the strictest conditions.


Other news is still fresh in our minds. In 2002, the lawn heating was added, followed by the exchange of seats and the creation of the SPARTA sign on the opposite stand, two new large screens and the demolition of the fences between the auditorium and the lawn. At the same time, the Letná stadium was gradually given new names: Toyota Arena (2003), AXA Arena (2007), Generali Arena (2009) and in 2022 epet Arena.

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