Stadionul Ion Oblemenco is a multi-purpose outdoor sports venue located in the southern Romanian city of Craiova. First opened in October 1967, the ground achieved its current capacity of 25,252 by undergoing renovation work in 2008, and it is primarily used for the football matches of local side CS Universitatea Craiova.
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Stadium Guide by Football Tripper
Stadionul Ion Oblemenco first opened on 29th October 1967 with a match between the national teams of Romania and Poland arranged to inaugurate the stadium. Resulting in a well-contested 2-2 draw, the stadium was originally known as Stadionul Central however it was renamed in honour of Ion Oblemenco in 1996 after the iconic footballer sadly passed away.
During an era known as Craiova Maxima, Stadionul Ion Oblemenco hosted many high-profile matches including a European Cup final against Bayern Munich during the 1981/1982 season, and a semi-final against Benfica the following season in the UEFA Cup. Undoubtedly the most successful period in Universitatea Craiova’s history, no Romanian team since has come close to beating their performances in European club competitions.
Peaking with a capacity of 15,000 in 2003 when fans attended a training session of the national team, the stadium underwent conversion to all-seating in 2002 when the wooden benches were replaced by rows of individual plastic seats. Having featured an athletics track since first opening, repairs to it were finally made in 2008 to ensure Ion Oblemenco remains a multi-purpose venue.
The stadium was demolished in 2015 and is currently being rebuilt from scratch. Construction on the new 30,000 capacity football stadium is expected to take two years in total, and if all goes to plan should be opened in time for the start of the 2017 season.