Scandinavium is the primary indoor sports and event arena in Gothenburg, Sweden. Construction on Scandinavium began in 1969 after decades of setbacks, the arena was built in time for the 350th year anniversary celebration of the City of Gothenburg and was inaugurated on May 18, 1971.
Scandinavium has been selected as a championship arena at least fifty times, hosting events such as World Championships in ice hockey, figure skating, and swimming, European championships, Davis Cup finals, and in 1985 the Eurovision Song Contest. It's the home arena for Frölunda HC and venue for the annual Göteborg Horse Show.
In the 1962 election campaign the Swedish Social Democratic Party guaranteed that they would build the arena if they won the election. The Social Democrats won the election and a pre-planning process was started but financing was still an issue and the plans were yet again put on hold. In 1968 a committee assigned to plan the 350th year celebration of Gothenburg considered that it was a good idea to build the arena in time for the celebrations in 1971, making it a lasting memory of the anniversary. A company responsible for the construction was formed by the municipality and private investors, while Poul Hultberg was asked to revise his twenty-three year old designs. An estimated construction cost of twenty-three million SEK caused wild protests and intense debates but did not delay the progress. In May 1969 it was discovered that there was no construction permit for the arena, delaying the start of construction for a few weeks. When tartan tracks were installed near the end of construction, the concentration of flammable gases in the building was so high that one spark could have potentially blown up the entire structure. When construction was completed in May 1971, Scandinavium stood as the largest covered arena in northern Europe with an attendance capacity of 14,000 spectators . The construction cost totaled thirty-one million SEK, which resulted in an eight million SEK budget deficit.
The seating in Scandinavium is arranged in a one level monolithic grandstand. The round design of the structure and the symmetric oval shape of the 4,100 m² (44,100 ft²) arena floor results in more rows along the length of the floor. The first six rows are telescopic seating which can be electrically retracted. There are forty-four executive boxes in the arena, located between the two northern pylons.
The ice hockey rink measures 61 meters × 30 meters (200 ft × 98.5 ft) which is standard international size. New double frame half boards were installed in 2001, designed to switch to NHL rink dimensions or to be easily removed when other events then ice hockey take place. To maximize the view for spectators, a seamless protective glass barrier consisting of tempered glass panels clipped together at their top corners with clear plastic brackets is used instead of traditional plexiglas with metal dividers.
Due to Scandinavium's central location the arena site itself does not have any public parking spaces, parking is only provided for sponsors, the press, and event personnel at a guard-gated parking lot next to Valhalla IP. Visitors are guided to eighteen nearby parking lots and parking garages, with a total of 7,000 parking spaces, by the event districts parking guidance and information system.
The system has a total of 130 digital signs, located on motorways with information about which exit to use, and on streets in the city with more detailed information about directions and number of available parking spaces.
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