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Ullevaal Stadion, located in Oslomarker, is Norwaymarker's national football ground. The Norwegian Cup final is played at Ullevaal. The stadium is the home ground of FC Lyn Oslo and Vålerenga IF, and is owned by the Football Association of Norway and Vital Forsikring.

The stadium currently has a capacity of 25,572, down from its peak capacity of around 35,000. The stadium saw its largest attendance ever for an international game in 1935 when Norway played Sweden in front of 35,495 spectators. Lyn's record attendance of 35,000 was set against Sarpsborg in the semifinal of the 1946 Norwegian Cup, a game for which so many people turned up that thousands were left standing outside. Estimates suggest as many as 60,000 people may have followed the game in and around the stadium.


Ullevaal Stadion, looking towards the Hafslund Stand

Plans by Lyn to start building a multi-purpose venue in the then Aker municipality were initiated in 1917. In 1924, a committee was established, and an agreement was made with the tram company Akersbanerne where were sold for . An agreement was made with the municipality, and the plans were apporoved by the club's general assembly on 23 May 1924. At the same time, it was decided to use NOK 20,000 to build a training field. The limited company A/S Ullevaal Stadion was founded on 27 January 1925, with Lyn owning 73.5%, the municipality 21.4% and remaining by four other local sports clubs: Ullevaal, T√•sen, Nydalen and Heming. The company received NOK 100,000 in placements.

The arena was opened by Crown Prince Olav on 26 September 1926, featuring Lyn, strengthened by players from other teams, beat the Swedish side √Ėrgryte 5‚Äď1. The stadium was built with a surrounding running track, and also hosted smaller athletics competitions. The first international game was held on 29 May 1927, when Norway lost 0‚Äď1 against Denmark. Ullevaal's original capacity was 18,000-20,000; within ten years of its inauguration the stadium had been expanded to hold more than 35,000 spectators. The record attendance dates to 22 September 1935, when 35,495 spectators watched Norway play Sweden. In 1934, the Sognsvann Line of the Oslo Tramway opened past the stadium, with the station Ullev√•l stadionmarker serving the venue, allowing easier access to the city center.

In 1945, the Norwegian Football Association bought part of the company from the municipality. Since 1948, almost all Norwegian Football Cup finals have been held at Ullevaal. In 1960, the majority of the company was sold to the Football Association. A new grandstand, the Japp Stand, was completed in 1967, featuring new dressing rooms, a gynmasium and office space. With a capacity of 5,000 it was once the largest single-tier stand in Norway. The following year, the Football Association and Lyn moved their head offices to Ullevaal.

The process of converting Ullevaal into a football specific stadium began in 1985 with the construction of the Coca-Cola Stand, located at the west end of the pitch. It is a single-tier stand with a capacity of 5,940. The north and east sides of the stadium were finished redeveloped in 1991. Differing radically from the Coca-Cola Stand, these were the first two-tier stands in the country, and include luxury boxes. Like the other stands at Ullevaal, the north and east stands have sponsored names. The north stand is called the Postbanken Stand. It functioned as the main stand until 1999. The east end is called the VG Stand. The lower tier of the VG Stand and the bottom rows of the Coca-Cola Stand were initially standing areas, and until seats were installed in 1997 the capacity of the stadium was 28,000. Nowadays, the lower tier of the Postbanken Stand is where the most enthusiastic Lyn and Vålerenga fans reside during their respective home matches. In 1991, Lyn sold their ownership to the Football Association, and for four years the latter remained the sole owner of the stadium. In 1995, 44.2% of the company was sold back to Lyn.

The Coca-Cola Stand
The Japp Stand was demolished in 1998, giving way to the Norsk Tipping Stand. Under-soil heating was installed at the same time. Unlike the Postbanken and VG Stands, the new main stand has three tiers. The royal box is situated on the bottom tier, above the tunnel. The cup trophy is presented here. The second tier contains a row of executive boxes and the third tier houses AV and press facilities. In 2005, it was renamed the Hafslund Stand after its new sponsor.

Vålerenga moved to Ullevaal in 1999 after 55 seasons at Bislettmarker. The club's contract for use of the stadium runs until 2010, at which point they are hoping to move to a new stadium closer to their historical roots at Vålerenga in eastern Oslo. Their highest attendance at Ullevaal is 24,894, set against Rosenborgmarker in 2005.

Lyn's ownership in the stadium diminished significantly during the 1990s and 2000s, until the Football Association had obtained 86.93% of the shares by 2005. On 23 March 2007, Lyn agreed to sell their remaining stake of 13.07% to the Football Association for NOK 32.5 million. Lyn will continue to play at Ullevaal until at least 2010.


Changing room
The stadium (as well as the borough of Ullevål) has its name from an old farm, Norse Ullarváll. The first element is the genitive case of the name of the Norse god Ullr. The last element is váll m "clearing in the woods" (or maybe hváll m "small hill").


The largest non-football related event to take place at Ullevaal was a revival meeting with Billy Graham in 1955, which gathered a crowd of 40,000. The stadium has also hosted boxing matches, concerts (most recently Bon Jovi in 2008, although sometimes fear of damaging the grounds' turf has caused large outdoor concerts to be placed at the rink-floored Valle Hovinmarker instead), and even a cross-country skiing event in 1994.

The stadium was also where the video for the A-Ha video "Did Anyone Approach You? (from the 2002 album Lifelines) was recorded, and was the first venue they played at on their subsequent tour.

Tours and Museum

The Football Museum is located in the Hafslund Stand. Opened in 2002, the centenary year of the NFF, it documents over 100 years of Norwegian football history. Guided tours of the stadium, including the royal box and the dressing rooms, are available.


Hafslund Stand
Vålerenga supporters on the Postbanken Stand
In 1998, Vital Insurance ASA purchased the land owned by AS Ullevaal Stadion east of the stadium (Lyn's old training pitch) in order to build a hotel and convention center, more office and retail space, and a new combined football and bandy field. The first proposal for a new zoning plan was put forward in 2000 and called for a shopping center with the playing surface on the roof. The plan was withdrawn due to considerable opposition from the local community and the municipal planning authority. A second plan, this time widely supported in the local community, was put forward in 2004 and approved in a revised form by the City Council on 16 November 2005.

Vital will build a 5,000 m2 hotel with 144 rooms, and a 1,500 m2 convention area. Both will be linked to the existing convention facilities within the stadium structure, making Ullevaal one of Norway's largest convention centers. The existing shopping center will almost double in size to 11,300 m2. A combined surface for football and bandy will be built to replace the old one that was dug up in 2000, in addition to a new club house for Ullevål IL. There will be an underground parking lot with 600 parking spaces beneath the playing surface. Construction began in October 2007 and will cost 550 million NOK to complete.

As for the stadium itself, the main focus in the coming years will be on redeveloping the Coca-Cola Stand, which when finished will boost overall capacity to around 31,000 seats. Funding for this project will only become available once the hotel and related developments at the eastern end of the stadium have been completed. Construction is therefore not expected to begin until late 2009. The other major project is a retractable roof, which would allow the NFF to use the stadium throughout the year and for a number of new activities. A retractable roof is, however, unlikely to be built in the near future and a more pressing issue is the NFF's intention to replace the current grass pitch with artificial turf. A decision in principle was reached in December 2006, with the NFF citing fewer problems related to the quality of the pitch and the potential increase in activity on it as the main reasons. The move to artificial turf could happen as early as 2008, but both resident clubs have protested the decision and threatened to relocate if the NFF acts without their consent.

The future of club football at Ullevaal is at any rate uncertain, as both Lyn and Vålerenga have voiced their intent to move to new stadiums when their leases run out in 2010. Vålerenga are planning a new stadium at Valle Hovinmarker, where the club currently have their administration and training facilities. The new stadium would be located closer to the club's historical roots at Vålerenga and also the majority of their fan base in eastern Oslo. Lyn, meanwhile want to build a new, smaller stadium in the western part of the capital and have focused primarily on securing permission to redevelop Frogner stadionmarker.

In February 2008, the NFF revealed that it is contemplating the sale of Ullevaal in order to build a new 52,000 seat national stadium elsewhere in Oslo. A stadium of this size in Norway is in all likelihood necessary if Sweden and Norway's co-candidacy for Euro 2016 is to be successful. Ullevaal will regardless of such an event be expanded to hold 31,000 but the cost involved in increasing capacity beyond this figure has led the NFF to investigate the possibility of a new stadium in another location. In addition, the infrastructure surrounding the current national ground would be incapable of handling crowds as large as 52,000. Current president of the NFF, Sondre Kåfjord, has admitted that increasing the capacity of Ullevaal to 40,000, while costly, would probably be technically feasible, but that this option has not yet been taken into consideration.

Lyn are reportedly interested in buying back the stadium, should their efforts to get one elsewhere fail, whereas Vålerenga insist that their attention remains focused on relocating to Valle Hovin. AS Ullevaal Stadion was valued at 562.5 million NOK in the company's 2006 financial report and the stadium as a whole may be worth up to 770 million NOK or even as much as 1 billion NOK.


The stadium is located next to the Ullevål stadionmarker station of the Oslo T-bane, and is served by lines 3, 4 and 5 (the Sognsvann Line and the Ring Line). The stadium is also within a ten-minute walk from Rikshospitaletmarker station of the Oslo Tramway, located on the Ullevål Hageby Line and served by trams 17 and 18. In addition, the highway Ring 3 runs nearby. Parking is available at Rikshospitaletmarker, Domus Atletica and Sogn Upper Secondary School; these are within five minutes walk.


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