Club establishment: 1892
The new Eden Aréna, opened in 2008, is currently the most modern and – with the capacity of over 20,000 spectators – also the largest stadium in the Czech Republic. The fans of Slavia Prague had waited a very long time for their new home ground, so it is not surprising they soon took a liking to the new stadium in spite of the financial and sport turbulence Slavia experienced in recent years.
Plans for a new stadium for Slavia date back to 1997 when the old Eden stadium began to fall into disrepair and its demolition impended. However, building a new football stadium for 20,000 fans from scratch is not an easy task, especially from the financial point of view. At that time, nobody expected the plans would be shelved for ten years. In the end, the construction started in October 2006 and everything went according to plan. The works continued briskly and after one year and four months, the first seats were installed.
Eden Aréna is a modern multifunctional stadium with a variety of facilities underneath its stands. There we would find an official Slavia store, restaurant, café, VIP skybox overlooking the pitch, as well as offices, a hotel, or a bank. The interior of the stadium is also highly comfortable. Its north stand behind one of the goals is regularly occupied by Slavia’s most devoted supporters.
The 2007/2008 season was the last one Slavia spent in the windy district of Strahov where they played after leaving their old Eden stadium. It was also the most successful season in the club’s modern history. Slavia won the Czech league and finally qualified for the group phase of the Champions League following a victory over the famous Ajax Amsterdam.
The grand opening of the new home ground took place on 7th May 2008 when Slavia beat Oxford University AFC 5–0 in an exhibition match attended by 14,618 spectators. The university team was intentionally chosen as the opponent. It was against this team that Slavia played the very first match in its history on 28th March 1899 at Letná, the then home ground of the club.
The first league match at the new Eden Aréna was played ten days later. In the 2007/2008 season, Slavia, led by Karel Jarolím as the head coach, won its first title in 12 years. Even though the league premiere at the new stadium had been planned for the following season, in the end, it took place in the last match of the 2007/2008 season. Therefore, after their very first league match at Eden, a 2–2 draw with Jablonec, Slavia could celebrate the title.
Eden has always been and will always be Eden. The previous stadium of Slavia, which used to stand on the same site, had the same name. Nevertheless, we live in times when clubs never have enough financial resources, so the stadium was renamed after the sponsor to Synot Tip Aréna. Three years later the stadium got its original name back, only with the modern-sounding word Aréna. Not for long, however, as it was renamed to Synot Tip Aréna again for two years in 2013. In November 2018 the Chinese company Sinobo became the major shareholder in Slavia and since then the stadium has been named Sinobo Stadium.
Before they moved to the new Eden, Slavia had to spend eight years at the athletic Evžen Rošický Stadium at Strahov – to the dismay of their fans from the Vršovice district (the site of the original as well as the new stadium). Spectators often managed to fill the stadium to its capacity of 19,000 during the Derby of the Prague ‘S’ (Slavia Prague against Sparta Prague) or during attractive matches in European competitions, but not many Slavia fans regularly attended Czech league matches at Strahov. Home is home, what else can be said.
Another integral part of the rich history of Slavia Prague is its original Eden stadium where the club played its home matches from 1953 till 2000 before it was pulled down a few years later. The pitch at this stadium, which could accommodate 38,000 spectators, was encircled by a cinder running track.