Blau-Weiss Linz & LASK (Europe)
Linzer Stadion - Linz, Upper Austria
Capacity: 21,005 (13,300 Euro)
Opened: 1952 (Renovated: 2012)
Address: Ziegeleistraße 76, 4020 Linz
The Linzer Stadion, home ground of Blau-Weiss Linz and LASK's top matches, is a stadium perpetually stuck in time. With its athletics track, three-quarters bowl (one end is completely open) and concrete, so much concrete, it's a throwback. Don't get us wrong, this isn't a bad thing. Firstly, the ground is often referred to as the "Linzer Gugl" or "auf der Gugl" (it is built on the Gugl hill), so walking there from the Linz train station can get you sweating if you're in a rush! It is also located adjacent to the TipsArena which is a concert venue and where the Linz Ladies tennis tournament takes place.
We've been here solely for LASK's glory nights in the Champions League and Europa League over the last two years (including wins over Besiktas (arguably the best atmosphere we've experienced in Austria), Basel, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, AZ Alkmaar and Rosenborg), and this stadium can rock. It has the acoustics of a symphony hall and has become a fortress. When at full roar, it is goosebump inducing.
Whilst the current stars of LASK light up this stadium on European nights, the stadium has hosted concerts from the King of Pop Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi and Pink Floyd in its past. VÖEST Linz (now defunct and continued by Blau-Weiss) played FC Barcelona here in the 1974 European Cup whilst Inter Milan came unstuck 1-0 in a 1985 UEFA Cup clash versus LASK. The Linzer Stadion's biggest ever game will take place shortly as Manchester United come to town on 12th March 2020.
After a somewhat controversial arrangement with the city of Linz, LASK plan to move back to a renovated Linzer Stadion by 1st July 2022 after signing an 80-year lease for the site - however there is currently a petition against this. If this happens, it means we only have a handful of occasions to visit this beautiful stadium before it is reconstructed. There aren't many of these grounds left - so savour them whilst we have the chance.
In our opinion, Linz is one of Austria's most underrated cities. It is the third largest city in Austria, boasts a thriving cultural scene - it was European Capital of Culture in 2009 - and has excellent food. You must try the famed Linzer Torte, reportedly the oldest cake in the world.
Nestled on the River Danube, the city is serviced excellently by an extensive tram and bus network, meaning you can get anywhere quickly and easily. Take a look at the excellent Linz Tourismus site for more info!
How to get there?
The stadium is handily located for those arriving from Linz train station, with it being only a 15-minute walk away. If you're coming from Linz's beautiful Altstadt you can catch bus 10 or 27 to Botanischer Garten Linz or make a pretty simple 20 minute walk. If you're an away fan, you'll have to enter the stadium via the Stockbauernstrasse however this will be signposted in most places.
LASK's European nights are the hottest ticket in town so you'd have to be very lucky. Tickets are available here: https://tickets.lask.at/
If you'd like to check out Blau-Weiss Linz - you can buy tickets on arrival at the stadium, or if you want to be prepared, get them here: http://tickets.bwlinz.at