The project involved the construction of an open air oval-shaped Olympic stadium: it contains a football pitch and a 400-metre racing track. Theoretically the terraces with wooden benches provided seats for 71,008 people, but during the biggest festivals organised there it accommodated more than 100,000 spectators. In addition, the stadium was equipped with a practice field, a small sports dome, 900 parking spaces and was surrounded by a park. The stadium was also connected to a nearby bus station and a railway station opened specifically for the transport of spectators.
Soon after its opening, it became Poland's national stadium. It housed most important international football matches and athletics competitions, as well as communist party galas, concerts, and commemorative festivals. In addition, it served as the final lap of the Peace Race. In 1968, it was the site of Ryszard Siwiec's self-immolation in protest at the invasion of Czechoslovakia during a propaganda festival.
In 1983, due to technical problems, the stadium was abandoned. In 1989 it was rented by the City of Warsaw to a company that turned the stadium into an outdoor market known as Jarmark Europa, which soon became one of the biggest bazaars in the world. With over 5000 traders (and many more unregistered; a large number of traders are from other countries) it is the biggest facility of its kind in Poland. Official figures state an annual turnover of 500 million zloty, which is generally believed to be an underestimate.
The top tier of the market is full of vendors of such items as clothing, souvenirs, and pirated CDs and movies. Police say the market is the main selling point for black market goods in the country. Between 1995 and 2001 more than 25,000 traders were prosecuted, while approximately 10 million pirated CDs and video tapes were confiscated. It is commonly believed that this was simply the tip of the iceberg. Amongst the English-speaking community in Warsaw the stadium is often referred to as the "Russian market".
The black market aspect of the stadium, with all its shady dealings, illegal producs, and in particular the weapons, has made it into mainstream media of which one example is the suspense novel by Jack King: The Fifth Internationale.
Stadion Dziesięciolecia and its grounds are the property of the Government of Poland, and the City of Warsaw has declared that for this reason it would be illegal for the city to financially participate in the project, which is expected to be financed by the national government.