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OmaSP Stadion, the new ground of SJK Seinäjoki

seinajoki omasp stadion

We're having some new grounds around Europe lately, like those we've seen in France for Euro2016, or the Arena CSKA in Russia and the Vodafone Arena in Turkey. Today, though, we'll look at a smaller stadium, opened only a few months ago, standing out for his remarkable planning: it's the OmaSP Stadion, in Seinäjoki, Finland. (header pic @ twitter Selkasauna)

Seinäjoki is a less than 60,000 people town, in Southern Ostrobothnia. We are in the very heart of Finland (some 180 km from Tampere and 360 km from Helsinki) and this is a place renowned for the Alvar Aalto's legacy. Aalto was one of the most important architects of his time, a Modernism maestro,  also influenced by the organic modernist style (proper of Frank Lloyd Wright), always trying to design a building with a strong connection with its natural environment.

That's why we find so many priceless buildings in Seinäjoki, like the City Hall, the Library, the Theatre and the main square.

seinajoki omasp stadion

It's an architectural legacy and, in some ways, we still find something new today, in line with it, with the SJK Seinäioki's new ground.

The OmaSP Stadion, built in less than a year, was designed by local architect Jyrki Jääskeläinen, it did cost €12mln, and has a capacity of 5,876 seats for football matches (rising to around 10,000 for concerts and events).

Based on a classic rectangular shape, the ground consists of single-tier stands all around the pitch (only the south-east corner has no seats and accomodates the video screen instead). Best cost-efficiency ratio was taken in strong account by planning the stadium via some virtual models, for a primary structure made in pre-cast concrete.

Building phases were optimized also thanks to this virtual model planning (eg: choosing best roof's iron beams dimension) as well as when they had to change some details in progress.

Building phase, February-March 2016
The OmaSP Stadion is fully covered and the main stand (Pääkatsomois taller than the other three sides: there are two 500 capacity restaurants inside and also a VIP lounge and VIP seats in the stand. The main stand is three-floored and a Club shop, Club's offices and a gym also find their place here. Facilities are well arranged even in the rest of the ground, though, with six kiosks and three grills in the other three stands.

The west stand Kannattajapääty is for the home fans, while the east stand is the away end. The external façades are covered in black, with vertical yellow elements (these are the two Club's colors) plus a big glass wall livening up the aspect of the main stand, enlightening the whole building. The playing surface is a third generation artificial grass pitch made by the local company Saltex, and it's undersoil heated.

Ok, we're not at Wembley or at the Camp Nou but I see this ground as a great example of "good architecture", especially nowadays where it seems the bigger the ground the better the design is.

In moving to the new stadium, SJK Seinäioki (reigning finnish champions this year) said farewell to the old Seinäjoen keskuskenttä - a single-stand athletic ground built in 1925 - but they now have a little jewel in their hands. And they have so thanks to a strong and commendable planning, which is something that deserves our full praise to say the least.

Many thanks to Lari Paski, SJK media officer, for his invaluable help

* the original version of this article was published on, here

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seinajoki omasp stadion architettura
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