“National arena, the Vasa ship of our times” a declaration from AIK’s supporters at the start of the first half. It’s monday night and I’m on hand at Friends Arena to shoot the match between AIK and Falkenbergs FF. The match should have been played on Sunday evening, but an hour long summer thunderstorm at noon was enough to turn the pitch into a lagoon and delay the game by 24 hours.
Keep in mind, now, that this is a venue with a retractable roof. You should start to understand why the venue is being compared to the Vasa, a Swedish ship that sank on it’s maiden voyage pretty much as it was pulling out of the harbor. Looking past this embarrassing incident you will find that Friends Arena and it’s target consumer have never really fallen in love with one another. Concert goers think the acoustics are bad. Football fans also think the acoustics are bad. Football players think the pitch is in awful shape. The surrounding area remains largely a construction site. And the complaints go on and on.
The match itself was fairly straight forward for AIK. Having shockingly lost to Falkenberg two weeks ago they were never going to repeat that mistake and swept aside their opponents easily with three goals.