Stadionul Steaua or Ghencea as it is known as to fans, is a purpose built football stadium located in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. Home to the most successful football team in the country FC Steaua Bucuresti, Ghencea first opened in 1974 and currently has a capacity of 28,365.
Stadium Guide by Football Tripper
Stadionul Steaua first opened on the 9th April 1974 with an inaugural held against Serbian side OFK Belgrade in a fairly entertaining 2-2 draw to welcome in the new era of Ghencea Stadium. Previously the home side had played their home fixtures in multiple multi-purpose stadiums across Bucharest including three now defunct stadiums: ANEF, Republicii and Na?ional.
When Ghencea first opened it was one of the first purpose-built football stadiums of its kind in Romania, with all previous stadiums in the country including an athletics track at the request of the local municipalities. With an initial capacity of 30,000, the 1991 refurbishment which saw plastic seats installed which reduced the capacity to around 28,365 with additional space also lost to hospitality facilities.
Major refurbishment of the stadium has historically been driven by Steaua Bucurest’s participation in the Champions League with the additional television revenue allowing the team to modernise facilities, and satisfy UEFA’s stringent spectator safety regulations. The 1995/1996 and 2006/2007 competitions where Steaua reached the group stages are the two most widely cited examples of this.
After entertaining the likes of Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Rangers at home in 1995, the club were able to finance undersoil heating and an improved irrigation system, with the group stages a decade later allowing the club to upgrade facilities such as the scoreboards in order to satisfy UEFA’s four star stadium criteria.
The Romanian football team previously used Stadionul Steaua as their home ground until around 2011 when the newly constructed, 55,634 capacity Arena Nationala opened on the 6th September 2011. This has prompted many to speculate about the future of Ghencea with suggestions that the club could enlist the services of the German architects who designed Commerzbank-Arena to help create a new 45,000 capacity ground.