It was in November of last year that AIK said goodbye to Råsunda Stadium. I was on hand to cover the final match when they faced Napoli in a Europa League match. Them last weekend Hammarby IF said goodbye to Söder Stadion, again I was on hand to cover the final match. And now this past weekend, Djurgårdens IF has said goodbye to Stockholm Stadium.
I’m not attached to any Stockholm team. I do however owe a debt of gratitude to Stockholm Stadion and the team that has called the venue home. It started back in the summer of 2010, I wanted to move more into photography. I wanted something I could shoot regularly, and I told myself why not sports and football. From this spark I contacted all 3 of the big Stockholm teams. One of team never bothered to respond. Another declined my request. But Djurgårdens IF responded and approved my accreditation request. And so it was that on July 31st 2010 I went and shoot my first football match. From there everything snowballed, less than a year later I joined Pic-Agency and started getting published. Now in 2013 I am starting to feel a bit like a seasoned veteran. As I walked out onto Stockholm Stadion I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic. This place put me on a new trajectory.
The fans in attendance were treated to fantastic day. It was a gorgeous day, the venue was completely sold out, and the football played on the pitch went their way. They closed out the first half leading 1-0 and then doubled up in the second half to win the game 2-0. You really couldn’t ask for more. By winning Djurgården became the only Stockholm team to win their final match in their old venue. When AIK played Napoli they lost thanks to a penalty taken by Edison Cavani. And a week ago when Hammarby played their final match, they only earned a draw. A silver lining for fans after such an awful start to the season.
After the game there was a massive celebration. All the fans were brought onto the pitch for a huge group picture. Fireworks were fired and then the fans were invited to remain on the grounds and hang out as long as they liked.
With this game out of the way the countdown to Tele2 Arena is officially underway. Hammarby will play their first match in the venue on the 20th of July and Djurgården will play their first match the following day on the 21st. I’m looking forward to covering both of these matches.
These images and more available via Pic-Agency.