Red Star Stadium or El stadio de Marakana is a multi-functional football stadium located in Serbia’s capital city of Belgrade. Used predominantly for the football matches of Red Star Belgrade who are the most successful club in Serbia, the ground has a 55,538 capacity and was most recently renovated in 2008 when new floodlights and pitch were installed.
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The site on which today’s Stadion Rajko Miti? sits has been used to host football throughout the 20th century, with the first stadium opening way back in 1927. Home to SK Jugoslavija, the stadium was capable of accommodating 30,000 supporters, and featured an athletics track around the perimeter of the pitch. When the club were disbanded after the Second World War ownership of the ground was transferred to the newly formed Red Star Belgrade.
By the 1960s the stadium was slowly developing into a state of disrepair, and on 27th December 1959 Red Star played their last match at the original ground against FK Novi Sad. Construction began on the new Marakan almost immediately, and three years later the stadium was inaugurated on 1st September 1963 with a Yugoslav First League game against NK Rijeka.
Almost finished, the welcome back match attracted a crowd of 55,000, however by the following season the capacity would be increased to a whopping 110,000 earning it the informal nickname of “Marakana” after Brazil’s Estádio Maracanã. The record attendance which was set on 23rd April 1975 saw 117,000 supporters cram into the stadium to see Red Star take on Ferencváros in the Cup Winners Cup semi-final.
Since the 1980s every passing renovation has seen the Marakana’s capacity decrease as Red Star Belgrade adhere to the latest safety regulations outlined by UEFA. The conversion to all-seating in the mid 1990s for example saw the capacity diminish by just over half to 60,000 – a figure which is still more than impressive by itself.
Recent renovations have seen the installation of under-soil heating in 2008, and in 2014 Red Star Stadium was officially renamed in honour of club icon Rajko Miti?. As for the future of the historic stadium, Red Star Belgrade are currently formulating plans to construct a brand new 50,000 capacity venue. Expected to cost anywhere between €450-600 million, the design is said to resemble a the shape of star with five triangular points.
Below is a seating plan of Red Star Belgrade's Rajko Mitić Stadium:
Red Star Stadium is comprised of four stands: North, East (Istok), South (Jud) and West (Zapad).
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
The Matchday Experience
Away fans are usually housed within the Tribuna Jug/South Stand with no fixed allocation of tickets. The amount of sections which are expected to open up depends purely on how large the travelling contingent is expected to be, however for domestic matches away fans rarely exceeds a few hundred.
Most football fans choose to drink within the city centre before hopping on the tram to the stadium. The map below outlines some of the more internationally friendly pubs.
Red Star’s Club shop is located within the back of the West Stand, and with the exception of their well designed online store, it is the best possible place to purchase official merchandise from.
- Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 7.00 pm,
- Saturdays 9.00 am – 3.00 pm
- Matchdays: a few hours before kick-off.
Red Star Belgrade previously conducted stadium tours of the Marakana at set times in the week but it doesn’t appear to be the case any more. It seems as if you must speak to the guys at the office and arrange a tour and a time on an individual basis although reportedly each tour requires a minimum of 10 people.
Stadion Rajko Miti? sits 4.4 km south of Republic Square which many regard to be the centre of Belgrade. Whilst you can sometimes see fans walking, most find it much easier to ride the tram. Depending on your starting location the journey will likely take you anywhere between 30 – 50 minutes.
The stadium’s address for satnav is as follows:
- Ljutice Bogdana 1?, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Located within a residential suburb you might find some on street parking around the stadium, however there are no official parking facilities available.
The Central railway Station is the final stop of all International train services into the country including ones to Budapest, Sofia, Vienna and Zagreb.
As the main home of Serbian Railways there are numerous services which connected Belgrade, the capital city, to the rest of the country.
Airports and Flying
Nikola Tesla Airport sits 18 km west of Belgrade city centre, and is used as the base for the national airline, Air Serbia. As the largest airport in the country there are numerous cheap flights around Europe, and in 2014 it was ranked as one of the fastest growing airports in the world.
Upon landing you can travel into Belgrade city centre by either taxing a taxi or one of the two main bus services. Bus #72 takes around 50 minutes, and Minibus A1 takes around 40 minutes with both services departing around twice an hour.
The city centre is blessed with varied accommodation options including apartments to rent, hostels and hotels such as the Excelsior, Holiday Inn and Best Western. There aren’t hotels within close proximity to the stadium!