Exposed red handmade bricks with round arches – the listed stadium in Stockholm is an architectural jewel dating back to 1912. At that time, it was built according to the plans of Swedish architect Torben Grut for the fifth modern Olympic Games. Today, it still serves as a venue for international sports competitions. This year, 30 May was an important date in the events calendar at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium. On this day, the IAAF Diamond League took place for the eighth time in a row at the stadium as part of the Stockholm Bauhaus Athletics meet – after Doha on 3 May and Shanghai on 18 May. It will be the third Diamond League meeting of the 2019 season. The best athletes in the world competed for victory at the Stockholm stadium on a tartan track by Polytan – the same surface as four of the other athletics stadiums that the IAAF Diamond League 2019 will visit worldwide.
IAAF Diamond League in Stockholm – the same venue since 2010
World-class athletics and sports have a long tradition at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium – the DN Galan international sports festival has been held there since 1967. In 2015, due to a change of sponsorship, it was renamed as Stockholm Bauhaus Athletics. Since 2010, this event has been an integral part of the IAAF Diamond League. Other sporting highlights included the Olympic Equestrian Games, held in the stadium in 1956, and between 1956 and 2013, successful Swedish football club Djurgårdens IF held their home games there. The Stockholm Marathon, which finishes in the Olympic Stadium, is also an annual source of excitement. If you want to enjoy the extraordinary stadium architecture minus the sports, you can also attend concerts there by internationally renowned artists.
Listed architecture in the Stockholm stadium
Now, Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium is once again in its original condition and features around 14,500 partially covered seats in its historic visitors’ stands. An extra stand was added for the European Athletics Championships in 1958 and demolished two decades later because its concrete design disturbed the balanced overall style of the venue. This was hardly surprising, given that for the venue of the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, architect Torben Grut exclusively selected building materials sourced from Sweden – including Väto granite for the foundations and approximately 400,000 hand-crafted bricks from Helsingborg.
The lifespan of synthetic sports surfaces in stadiums
In order to provide athletes with optimal training and competition conditions, synthetic surfaces for stadiums must be renewed every 10 to 30 years – for example with a professional re-topping by Polytan. The lifespan of a synthetic sports surface depends on usage intensity and the extent of weathering, as well as on the surface type itself. Solid synthetic surfaces (also referred to as poured floors) are significantly longer lasting than structural spray-coated surfaces (also known as spray coating or sprayed surfaces).
The Olympic Stadium's running track: Rekortan PUR
In the summer of 2014, the old circular track at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium was replaced by a modern Polytan high-speed polyurethane surface. The choice fell on a waterproof Rekortan PUR surface, which has already achieved numerous records and best times worldwide.
The advantages of the running track at a glance:
- The ideal combination of an elastic base layer and solid construction
- High acceleration
- Energy-enhancing tread elasticity
- High load capacity and a long lifespan of up to 30 years
- Interspersed EPDM granules in the top layer make the sports surface ideal for running shoes with spikes
- Certifiable according to IAAF requirements
Polytan Rekortan PUR surfaces feature a thicker base and thinner top layer. Like all the running tracks made by the sports flooring specialist, this high-speed synthetic surface is installed seamlessly on site using the in-situ installation method. Polytan uses high-quality rubber granules for its surface coatings. Depending on the thickness, shape, quantity and scattering, these granules determine the functional properties of the synthetic surface, such as the energy-enhancing tread elasticity. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our sports surfaces and provide advice to help you find the right surface for your new training ground. Please do not hesitate to contact us here.
Brick red tracks with blue sections
Whereas a few years ago, running tracks were installed exclusively in classic brick red, today the use of other colours has become popular. The most famous example is the blue track at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, which has already found numerous imitators worldwide. However, in the venerable Olympic Stadium in Stockholm the traditional red tracks have been retained – in keeping with the russet brick architecture of the Stockholm stadium itself. The blue sections create highlights, which visually enhance the high, long, triple jump and pole vaulting areas, and lend a special touch to the layout.
Polytan synthetic surfaces in a historical setting
The opportunity to install one of our modern tartan running tracks in such a historic and architecturally unique outdoor sports arena as the Stockholm Olympic Stadium is always an extraordinary event, and a great honour for us and our employees. Given that international athletics competitions such as the third Diamond League meet of the 2019 season are held there, we will keep our fingers crossed for the athletes competing on our high-speed synthetic surface.