Stadium Hop #2 | Stadion Miejski
Stadium Name: Stadion Miejski
Club: Wisla Krakow
Nickname: Biala Gwiazda – The White Star
Colours: Red and White
Date: 17th April 2019
Teams: WISŁA KRAKÓW vs CRACOVIA KRAKÓW 3-2
Competition: Polish Ekstraklasa
Wisla Krakow is a Polish football team based in southern Poland, in the beautiful city of Krakow (2 hours away from a spectacular winter destination). This is one of the oldest football clubs in the country, founded back in 1906 under the name TS WIsla. Wisla Krakow is regarded as one of the most successful clubs in Poland, clinching 13 league titles along with another 4 cups along the way.
Unfortunately, the latest times have not been the kindest to the club. A financial crisis hit the Polish club, leaving them in a very bad position. Players were not being paid and the club was risking being kicked out of their own Stadion Miejski. The problems started to accelerate around 2016, where the new owners were allegedly controlled by hooligans regarding the majority of the decision making.
What Happened to Wisla Krakow?
In short, the club was used as a front for many illegal dealings. Allegedly, multiple roles within the club (such as stadium cleaners, maintenance etc.) were being filled by people close to the hooligan group where they were being paid an inflated salary, which really helped in throwing the club into bankruptcy. Wisla Krakow lost most of its star players and were on the verge closing the club’s doors for good.
A shed of light has reached the surface when the ex-Polish national team winger, Jakub Blaszczykowski (his surname is actually harder to type than to pronounce 😛), decided to rejoin his boyhood club. At the time, Blaszczykowski was still playing for German giants Wolfsburg, earning a wage that I can’t even imagine! In spite of this, he agreed to return to Wisla Krakow to play for FREE. At his age, he could easily moved to China or else to the Middle East and cashed in on the last four to five years of his career.
Upon his arrival, the Polish FA announced that a professional football player’s minimum wage must not be less than 500 Polish Zlotys a month which is around €120. He had no choice but to accept in order to be able to sign the contract. He still didn’t accept to keep the wage. Instead, he decided that his salary will go towards paying orphaned children tickets to come and watch Wisla Krakow play. Amazing!
Not only that, Blaszczykowski loaned over 30 million euro to the club to pay the owed wages and start working towards financial stability.
Hottest Games to Attend at Stadion Miejski
In my opinion, all football games are worth attending, but perhaps the one we went to is the best of them all! It was given the title of “The Holy War” and this is played between Wisla Krakow and KS Cracovia, the two biggest and most supported teams in Krakow. This is reported to be the oldest rivalry in the country.
What to Wear?
Since our first trip back in 2017, we started a football scarf collection. It’s a must that we enter the stadium with a scarf of the home team around our neck. This is for two main reasons. Firstly we love collectables and secondly it helps us to get more into the atmosphere and supporting the home side.
In spite of this, we don’t recommend much “showing off” in regards to which team you’re supporting. ESPECIALLY if you’re attending the Krakow derby! Nothing to be scared of, but in a heated derby like this, it’s just a risk of ending up in an unwanted situation if seen in one of the clubs’ colours on Krakovian streets for too long. What we did was wait until getting past the Stadion Miejski’s gates. After that, we just pulled out our scarves and colours and peacefully joined in with the other home team fans.
Getting to Stadion Miejski
The closest tram stop to the stadium is called Reymana and it’s reached by taking tram 20. Tram passes from the city centre and should be heading to Cichy Kacik. Prepare to find yourself crammed! Most probably you’ll be surrounded with fans from both ends especially if going for the mentioned derby. That’s why we recommend not exclusively showing your colours before getting to the stadium.
Tickets & Prices
On their official website, it’s advertised that tickets can be bought online (although we never managed to). We bought ours from The Fan Zone which is situated within the stadium.
Ticket prices are very cheap and cost around 30 PLN, which is around € 7.
Where to Sit?
If you’re looking for a great view of both the pitch and the atmosphere created (by the Ultras of BOTH the home and away sides), we suggest the E Stand.
If looking to venture and want to be in the middle of it all, Wisla Krakow’s Ultras occupy the stand behind goal on the right-hand side of the pitch, the C Stand.
Bars Near Stadion Miejski
We didn’t manage to find any bars dedicated to the home fans. Honestly, we didn’t bother as we knew that in Poland it’s allowed to have a few pints within the stadium itself, and in fact, that’s where the majority of the fans get their pre-match beer.