Wednesday 19 August 2009

Skonto FC; Riga, Latvia

Skonto must be the most famous of fairly new footballing nation Latvia They were Virsliga (Higher League) champions from 1992 until 2004! I was in Riga for a couple of days at the end of July, & took the opportunity to try to look at a few grounds. This is not just the home of Skonto, but also the National Team.

As I entered the stadium, having circuited the perimeter from the other side, I wandered through a car park type barrier & was behind the main stand. There was this results board on display.

The obligatory map of the ground, that all major clubs seem to have.

And the sign of naughty things not to bring inside!

Please don't ask...I have no idea who the players is!

Hanging up in the entrance was this team photo, but I didn't see much else, as the security guard looked a bit mean, & was quick in shooing me away!

With crowds of less than a thousand I really can't see the 'H Side' putting much fear into anyone.

This is the open area behind one of the goals, with a large open car park behind. I wasn't supposed to be withing the hanging perimiter fence, but I dived in one corner, & set off taking pictures, before I could be kicked out.

I'm going to go in a clockwise 'circle' from this corner & head round. The first stand we see is this one, which appears to be the main one, as the entrance is behind it.

It stretches the full length, the weird building down the end is a large indoor sports hall facility. We also see the players tunnel, & also the stand on the other side of the pitch that stretches round from behind the goal & then the full length of the pitch.

Here we get a view of it.

And as it continues along to the end.

Now that I've got main photos of all sides I can take my time, & walk round properly, not worried about geting 'caught' and ejected! So I'm back in the corner of the stand where we started, & right by it is this pile of seats & scaffolding from some previous temporary construction. Maybe the empty space behind the goal, who knows?

Now I'm up in the seats, and we're looking across the stand, toward the sport hall.

And from the centre we look over to the other seating.

These are the press seats.

We're now looking down to the dugouts.

Presumably some of these seats, at the back railed off, are for the executive types.

The dugout just goes on & on!

Just past it are 'reserved' seats, in the ordinary seats, for the overspill of big international squads, I presume.

Through here, sitting to the left, who can't see me, is the intimidating security guard!

I have no idea what this organisation is, but as they've left their website on the hoarding, we all do now.

Behind the goal, in the corner, on the wall of the sportshall, is the electronic scoreboard.

The Skonto website is also advertised.

From this corner we look back down the stand we've just walked along.

Before we're behind the goal & at the tunnel.

The hall really was huge, but in total darkness, so I couldn't get any snaps, but one adjacent room was open, which appeared to be the press room.

From up here I could look through the window & across the pitch.

As well as a higher angle along the seats.

Not the poshest of chairs for the international managers, or have they hidden away comfy leather ones for World Cup ones? ;-)

We're now back out of the tunnel, & turning left. This is the section of seating behind the goal.

From right behind the goal we look at the stand down the far side.

And the other one...

In this corner are these balconies. I have no idea what they are for.

Now we're looking down the full length of this stand.

Once more, over to the other side.

Here we look back behind the goal.

Before another similar shot, looking along this stand.

Across the pitch once more...

This hoarding caught my eye, for it tells us where Skonto comes from.

Now at the end of this stand, I climbed up to the back rows, & took a shot back along it...


And down behind the open goal where we started.

As I was completing my tour a young security guard came over, & after I explained I was English, he tried to explain that I must leave now, as it was private. I has happy to do so & I'd finished our tour of the Skonto Stadium!

One last picture, on my way out.


IvarioLV said...

The player is Kaspars Gorkšs from QPR FC and Latvia team.

"In this corner are these balconies"
The top one is a bar from the VIP lounges of that side, and the below one is used for TV recording and as a terrace for interviews during Latvia matches. :)

Rabbler said...

Thank you again, your information is much appreciated.

Kris said...

The balconies in the corner are for the media and the sighn you could not understand was advertising some football activities for children.