Our club’s home is located in 1a Ljutice Bogdana Street. The magnificent sports building, one of the biggest ones in the Balkans, is a witness of many decades of success and triumphs of Red Star.
The official name of our stadium is The Stadium of Red Star Football Club, but most people simply call it Marakana...and if you’re wondering why, keep reading to find out...
The field and the stands initially built in 1927 where our stadium stands today, belonged to Yugoslavia FC, and the appearance of the structure was in accordance with the times. The stands were made of wood, the spectators mostly stood up during the game, and the capacity was 20.000 people standing.
During World War II, Yugoslavia FC ceases to exist and when Red Star FC was formed, on March 4th 1945, the ex Yugoslavia FC’s stadium, where Marakana stands today, was conceded to our club.
On December 27th 1959 Red Star played the last game at its old stadium. The Novi Sad team was the last rival at this fare-well to the old playground.
This old playground contained a part of football history. It’s where Moša Marjanović scored at Zamora’s goal, where Planička was defeated, and after World War II many nice and exciting football games were held there.
After the last game, the stadium was torn down and the building of a new, modern, sports structure began. But, before the building began, since the new field was to be 12 meters lower than the old one, 350.000 cubic meters of dirt had to be taken away as well as 15.000 cubic meters of rocks. Besides the magnificent appearance, the stadium got some extraordinary grass back in the days, with a drainage system and all the levels needed for a grass field to “live”.
The gates of the new football “temple” were officially opened for the first time on September 1st 1963, for a game Red Star played against Rijeka (2:1). Fifty-five thousand spectators showed up for the occasion, while that autumn’s record was reached in a derby with Partizan, when the stands admitted 74.000 people.
Next year, when the construction of the stadium was completed, the capacity amounted to a total of 110.000 spectators! Because of its grandiosity and such huge capacity, the fans legitimately compared the stadium to the biggest stadium in the world –Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. The name has, since then, come to form part of the story of Red Star, and our lovely stadium has become a symbol of success and victory!
The first goal at Red Star’s Marakana was scored by Trifun Mihajlović, in an encounter between Red Star and Jedinstvo Zemun beginner selections (under eleven), the fore-play for the championship encounter with Rijeka. The first official first league goal was scored by a footballer from Rijeka, Vukoja, while the first goal for the senior Red Star team got scored by Dušan Maravić in the same game.
The fact that best confirms that Marakana is a true football temple is best illustrated by an event from 1975, when 96.070 people gather for a game that Red Star played on April 23rd in the semi-finals of Cup Winners’ Cup against the Hungarian team of Ferencvaros (2:2).
That’s the number of spectators according to the official data and the number of tickets sold, but it’s estimated that 110.000 people were present at our Marakana stadium on that April night, that is the full capacity of the stadium at that time.
European finals at Marakana:
UEFA Cup finals, May 9th 1979, Red Star- Borussia Mönchengladbach (1:1), European Champion Clubs' Cup Finals, May 30th 1973, Ajax-Juventus (1:0) and European Championship finals, June 20th 1976 Czechoslovakia – FR Germany (2:2, 5:3 after penalty shootout).
Following the modernization of football constructions and respecting the severe UEFA standards, aimed at higher spectator comfort and security, the capacity of the stadium has been significantly lowered (to 53.000 people) by placing of seats in all four stands.
Five Red Star’s Stars
In the stadium complex there is a central box called Five Red Star’s Stars which is divided into five segments, and each one of them is named after one of the five legendary Red Star footballers (Rajko Mitić, Dragoslav Šekularac, Dragan Džajić, Vladimir Petrović Pižon and Dragan Stojković Piksi). The VIP2 box is there as well, where friends and sponsors of the club are usually seated. VIP3 box is usually destined to veteran sportsman and the people who marked Red Star’s history. A special VIP gallery with over 450 seats was made at the stadium, above the West stand, towards the North, in order for it to live up to the world’s most comfortable sporting constructions’ standards.