Steaua Bucharest’s reconstructed community-use Ghencea Stadium

In 2018, Romanian football club Steaua Bucharest released designs for a total reconstruction of its legendary Ghencea stadium in preparation of Bucharest’s hosting of part of the EURO 2020 tournament. With a focus on multifunctionality and community use, it is obvious that the stadium’s legacy was kept in mind in the design process.

As part of the second edition of ESSMA’s Stadium Development Report ESSMA interviewed Adrian Cefalan, Director of CNI, the company responsible for the construction of the new Ghencea Stadium, to offer our members an exclusive view into the construction process, the features of the brand-new stadium and the reason behind the adjustments to the design.

“The capacity will be 31,254 seats, including 1,196 VIP business seats and 496 VIP seats in lounges, 300 seats for the press and 154 seats for disabled spectators. This capacity makes it the second largest modern stadium in the country, after the National Arena.”

Which facilities will the new stadium offer for the community?

Facing the main boulevard, the ground floor level under the North tribune will host two public catering spaces (a restaurant and a bistro-bar) as well as a museum for all the club’s sport teams and four retail spaces (a fan-shop, sport apparel and products and the ticket office). All these facilities are aimed at integrating the stadium into the urban environment of the neighbourhood and of the city in general. 

In the vicinity of the South tribune there is a hotel with 24 double-bed rooms used for hosting the athletes and a restaurant with 50 seats. 

During non-matchdays, the area of the West tribune can be converted into a conference centre thanks to a generous interior space and the VIP facilities. 

“The total cost of the stadium is EUR 94 million, representing a unitary cost of EUR 1,155 per square metre built and EUR 2,993 per seat.”

How will this design improve the overall fan experience?

At half time and before the match only 20% of the spectators spend time in the common areas according to research. The rest leave the tribunes only to go the toilet or to buy products from the various selling points. In general, the utilisation of the common areas at half time is the result of the balance between the attractiveness of the half-time entertainment shows and the available space.

In the new setting, the access of the spectators to the sanitary spaces is kept separate from the common areas. This decreased the traffic under the tribune. At half time the access gates will be wide open in order to allow spectators to spend any potential interruption of the match on the access esplanade, outside the security premises.

For the fans the new experiences will also be represented by the new facilities offered at the ground floor of the stadium, at pedestrian level, where the time spent before and after the event can be prolonged. These facilities, the museum, the restaurants, the retail areas as well as the urban spaces will offer an entertaining pre- and post-match experience.

Access the full interview in our Stadium Development Report