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Malmö IP

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Title: Malmö IP  
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Subject: Malmö FF, Damallsvenskan, LdB FC Malmö, 1916–17 in Swedish football, 1928–29 in Swedish football, IFK Malmö Fotboll, Malmö Stadion, Swedbank Stadion, 1949–50 in Swedish football
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Malmö IP

Malmö IP
The entrance to Malmö IP seen in 2008
Full name Malmö Idrottsplats
Location Pildammsvägen 13, 214 66, Malmö

55°35′42″N 12°59′44″E / 55.59500°N 12.99556°E / 55.59500; 12.99556

Built March – July 1896
Opened 4 July 1896
Renovated 1978–1980, 1999
Owner Malmö Stad
Operator Malmö Stad
Surface Artificial turf
Capacity 7,600, of which 3,900 are seated.[1]
Field dimensions 66 by 105 metres (217 ft × 344 ft)[1]
Malmö Velocipedklubb (1896–1900)
IFK Malmö (1903–1958, 1999–2008)
MAI (1908–1958)
Malmö FF (1910–1958, 1999)
LdB FC Malmö[upper-alpha 1] (2006–present)

Malmö Idrottsplats (Malmö sports field), commonly referred to simply as Malmö IP and sometimes as Gamla IP (The old sports field), is a football stadium in Malmö, Sweden. As of 2012, it is the home of ladies association football club LdB FC Malmö, currently playing in Damallsvenskan.[3] It is the former home stadium of both Malmö FF and IFK Malmö.[1] The stadium is the third largest in Malmö behind Malmö Stadion and Swedbank Stadion. Malmö IP has also hosted the Sweden national football team on two occasions. The ground's record attendance, 22,436, was set in an Allsvenskan match between Malmö FF and Helsingborgs IF on 1 June 1956.[4]

The stadium was built as a multi-purpose sports field between March and July 1896 with a grand opening on 4 July 1896.[5] The present day capacity of the stadium is 7,600, the capacity has changed throughout the years as the stadium has been through numerous changes and redevelopments.[1] Extensive redevelopment and restoration was carried out both between 1978–1980 and in 1999. Before the 2008 season an artificial turf was laid out, as a result IFK Malmö moved to Malmö Stadion in protest.[1] The stadium was used for many home games of Malmö FF and IFK Malmö in the first half of the 20th century before the construction of Malmö Stadion in 1958 when Sweden was awarded the 1958 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is located on the other side of Pildammsparken from where both Malmö Stadion and Malmö FF's current home stadium Swedbank Stadion are located.


Early history (1890's – 1920's)

Malmö IP was built in 1896 with the original purpose of arranging events such as velocipede competitions, gymnastics, wrestling, athletics and tennis.[5] Velocipede competitions had previously been organized by the local sports club Malmö Velocipedklubb (abbreviated MVK) at a temporary sports field in Rörsjöstaden since 24 August 1890, this was also where the first football match was played in Malmö when Danish club Københavns Boldklub played an exhibition game on 12 October 1890.[5] The members of MVK were impressed by the new sport and decided to start a football section of their own. In 1893 it became clear to MVK that the sports field in Rörsjöstaden only was a temporary solution since the area was to be developed for housing in the near future.[6] In February 1894 Malmö Stad presented a proposal for a new sports field in the presently named Teatern neighbourhood of Västra Innerstaden upon request from MVK. After consulting with its members, the board of MVK agreed to the proposal and signed a 15 year lease with Malmö Stad.[7] An aktiebolag named AB Malmö Idrottsplats was founded in March 1896 to raise the funds needed for MVK to pay for the construction of the sports field and annual payments to the municipality. The company's chairman was Carl Frick, a sea captain and local sports enthusiast who wanted to contribute to sports in Malmö.[8] The final construction cost for the sports field was 44,000 kronor in 1896 monetary value, roughly 2,640,000 kronor in 2012 monetary value.[7] The area for the sports field was originally 4 hectare. Construction of Malmö IP started in March 1896 and ended in July the same year.[7]

Malmö IP was inaugurated on 4 July 1896 with velocipede competitions and with pertaining betting being organized.[9] When the sports field was inaugurated its intended purposes was velocipede competitions on the oval track circumventing the grass area and association football, gymnastics, ice skating as well as athletics on the grass pitch.[10] MVK disbanded its velocipede section in 1902 after betting had been made illegal in Sweden in 1897 and the club had a difficult time attracting spectator to Malmö IP to watch the competitions.[11] MVK also disbanded its football section and thus the club in its entirety in 1900 due to the loss of interest for the game in the city as well as the fact that a large pavilion had been placed in the middle of the pitch at Malmö IP in 1899, making any football related activities impossible at that time.[12] The pavilion was removed and a new pitch was laid out in 1905 when the city decided to campaign for more organized football around the city.[5] Malmö IP has to present day been used to celebrate national holidays such as the National Day of Sweden, Midsummer as well as the International Workers' Day.[13] On 18 September 1897 Malmö IP hosted the 25th jubilee of King Oscar II of Sweden which was celebrated with a large occasion and subsequent party. Over 10,000 people attended the event to celebrate the king.[13]

Following the banning of betting in Sweden as well as other events such as rainy summers and wet winters AB Malmö Idrottsplats started to have financial difficulties and applied to the municipality for help.[14] The annual fee was removed in 1899 and instead the sports field was given a yearly grant of 1,500 kronor as long as the school children of Malmö were given free access to the sports field for a couple of hours daily.[12] The adjoining facility named Stora Hallen (The great hall) which originally served as an indoor arena for tennis and later used as riding stables was redeveloped into an indoor dance hall with an adjoining restaurant in 1910, the establishment came to be named Boston Palace. This was done to increase profits for Malmö IP as the earlier activities wasn't enough.[12] The redevelopment was criticized by some as dancing was seen as an "immoral" activity that shouldn't be connected with sports.[5] The financial difficulties continued into the 1910s and the city was forced to raise the yearly grant for Malmö IP.[15] In 1914 the Baltic Exhibition was held in Malmö with pertaining sports event during June and July.[16] The exhibition forced the municipality to rearrange the area surrounding the sports field and the surrounding road network was redrawn. Malmö IP were given a large compensation for this as the sports field area was affected by the changes.[17]


Athletics overtook football and velocipede competitions at Malmö IP after MVK's exit and the entrance of IFK Malmö who were founded in April 1899. IFK Malmö arranged competitions such as 100 metres, running an english mile, early forms of high jump competitions as well as pentathlons which involved long jump, javelin throw, 100 metres, discus throw as well as wrestling as the final event where the two last competitors would face each other to win the pentathlon. IFK Malmö also arranged ice skating competition at Malmö IP during the winter months in Sweden. On 7 November 1901 then Swedish crown prince and later king of Sweden Gustaf V attended one of IFK Malmö's athletics competitions, the crown prince reportedly enjoyed this experience very much. Equestrianism and tennis was other activities that was very popular at Malmö IP during the turn of the century. Crown prince Gustaf V often played tennis at Malmö IP when he was stationed in Malmö during his military education in 1904.

On 26 August 1908 several members of IFK Malmö left the club due to differences in opinion regarding club administration. These members later formed Malmö Allmänna Idrottsförening (abbreviated MAI) on 7 September 1908. Starting October the same year MAI started to arrange competitions in athletics and participate and compete against their rivals IFK Malmö. Swedish javelin thrower Eric Lemming set two new world records in the very first international competition that MAI hosted on 10–11 July 1909. For the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm seven athletes from Malmö participated. Earlier wrestler Frithiof Mårtensson had won the city's first Olympic gold medal when he competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

Athletics drew large crowds to Malmö IP for events such as when Gunder Hägg and Arne Andersson battled at the running tracks. The world record in running an english mile was beaten twice at the stadium.[18] The record was first beaten by Arne Andersson on 18 July 1944, his record lasted until Gunder Hägg beat it almost exactly a year later on 17 July 1945.

Association football

The interest for association football in Malmö started up again in 1905 when Malmö Stad started a campaign for youth to come to Malmö IP to try out the sport and compete against each other. The campaign was more successful than anticipated as over 300 persons showed up. Basic football training and competitive matches were held every day in September and October of the same year. The most successful and first club dedicated solely to football in these early years was Malmö BI (then abbreviated MBI and now called FC Rosengård after various mergers and names changes) which was founded in 1904 by former players from MVK. Several youths with no club to play for remained in the teams assigned by the 1905 campaign. The youth team called "Team C" founded their own football club BK Idrott in 1905. BK Idrott later merged with IFK Malmö in 1909 but withdrew from the club in 1910 to form Malmö FF.

Malmö FF were founded by 19 men at the restaurant at Malmö IP on 24 February 1910.[19] Malmö FF played at the stadium until 1958 when they moved to the much larger Malmö Stadion. Malmö FF moved back for half a season in 1999 after a refurbishment of Malmö IP, they only stayed for the latter part of the 1999 season as the club was relegated from Allsvenskan and decided to play their next season at Malmö Stadion once again after safety concerns.[18] Malmö FF frequently use Malmö IP for pre-season friendlies since the artificial turf makes it possible to play during the winter months in Sweden.[20]

IFK Malmö's football section also played at the stadium from 1903 until 1958 when they moved to Malmö Stadion like Malmö FF. Much like their rivals they returned to Malmö IP in 1999 after the refurbishment of the stadium, however they stayed much longer than Malmö FF until 2008 when they once again moved to Malmö Stadion as a protest against the artificial turf that replaced the natural grass pitch at the stadium.[1] Ladies club LdB FC Malmö who were founded in 2007 after splitting from Malmö FF have played at Malmö IP during their entire existence.[18]

Later history (1930's – present day)

The sports field surpassed into municipal ownership in 1938 when AB Malmö Idrottsplats's financial difficulties became too great to bear.[5][9] There was also widespread criticism from minor sport clubs in Malmö against the companies tendency to favour the bigger clubs.[21] Malmö Stad therefore voted to nationalise the ownership of both Malmö IP and other sport fields in the city in 1935, the motion passed with a small margin, 25 voted for nationalization and 23 voted for continued private ownership.[22] Lengthy negotiations between AB Malmö Idrottsplats and the municipality's sports committee began in 1935 and ended in 1937 with a settlement of 160,000 kronor, roughly 4,500,000 kronor in 2012 monetary value.[23] The municipality overtook ownership of Malmö IP on 1 January 1938.

Association football and athletic clubs continued to share Malmö IP even after the municipal takeover. The events that attracted the biggest crowd in the 1930s and the 1940s was Malmö FF's home matches in Allsvenskan which could attract up to 14,000 spectators which was the full capacity of Malmö IP at the time.[24] The capacity was increased however and the record for attendance was once again broken in 1939 when MAI hosted a 25 year's jubilee competition in the honour of the Baltic Exhibition held in 1914. Over 25,000 spectators were in attendance at Malmö IP in total during the two days in which the competition was held.[25] MAI also hosted several other international competitions that brought large crowds to the sports field, one of these were called Amerikagalorna (The America galas) during which athletics from the United States were invited to compete against Swedish athletes.[26]

World War II affected Malmö in more ways than the rest of Sweden due to the city's proximity to German occupied Denmark with the Danish capital Copenhagen on the other side of Øresund from Malmö. During these years many public celebrations and events of national unification were celebrated at Malmö IP such as the National Day of Sweden on 6 June 1941 when Prime Minister of Sweden, Per Albin Hansson who was born in Malmö, held a speech at the sports field.[27] Wartime athletics competitions with military recruits competing were also held, these involved events such as throwing of grenades.[28]

The future of Malmö IP came into discussion first in 1933 with the proposed building of Malmö Opera and Music Theatre, the first proposal involved the full demolition of Malmö IP and surroundings.[29] However the theatre was built on the edge of Malmö IP and only some of the buildings in the area had to be demolished, these involved the restaurant building of Malmö IP where Malmö FF where founded in 1910.[29] The main entrance of the sports field also had to be moved from the northern part of the area to the eastern part where it has been located since. A commemorative table was placed at the exact site of Malmö FF's founding in 2010 when the club celebrated its centenary anniversary, the present location of this is the parking lot for Malmö Opera and Music Theatre.[30]

Malmö was one of the best sport cities in Sweden during the 1940s and 1950s as the cities clubs won Swedish championship in several sports.[31] Malmö FF won their first Swedish football championship at Malmö IP in the 1943–44 Allsvenskan and won an additional four league titles and five Svenska Cupen titles during the 1940s and 50s. Also athletics club MAI, wrestling clubs Sparta and Enighet, IFK Malmö's team handball division and several other clubs won Swedish championships in their own respective sport at Malmö IP during this time era.[31] Several European football clubs visited Malmö IP and played friendlies against Malmö FF in the years following World War II, some of these clubs included A.C. Milan, Birmingham City, Charlton Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The attendance record at Malmö IP was beaten several times in a row for these matches.[32]

During the 1950s it became clear that Malmö IP was becoming too small to accommodate the growing interest for football and other sports in the city. Malmö FF had a high average attendance and matches were often sold out. The large crowds also posed security issues that became apparent in the Scanian derby between Malmö FF and Helsingborgs IF in 1951 when there was considerable commotion in the crowd and some people were pushed against poles and fences, however no one was injured.[33] Plans to build a new stadium in originated in 1943, when local officials deemed Malmö IP to be too small for major events. However, the city council could not agree where to build the new stadium, and the matter was dropped until 1954 when the question reappeared.[34] Sweden was chosen to host the 1958 FIFA World Cup and the question resurfaced once again. The location of the stadium was a main subject of discussion: some suggested a suburban location in Jägersro, while others thought that the stadium should be located in central Malmö, near the neighbourhood of Pildammsparken. Proponents of a central location ultimately won the day; the site was confirmed in 1954. Malmö Stadion was built on the other side of Pildammsparken from Malmö IP.[34]

Malmö IP subsequently lost its status as Malmö's main sport centre when Malmö FF, IFK Malmö as well as MAI moved to Malmö Stadion after its inauguration in 1958.[34]

Structure and facilities

Malmö IP has an overall capacity of 7,600 spectators, of which 3,900 are seated.[1] It comprises five larger stands and one minor stand. The Southern Stand which is located along one of the long sides of the pitch is the main stand, this stand is seated.[1] The short sides of the pitch features one terraced stand in the west and a seated stand in the east. On the opposite side of the Southern Stand are three stands of different size and character, one stand with terracing, one stand with seating and the last and smallest stand is a plain stand under roof. The Southern Stand feature the dugouts as well as changing rooms inside the stand. The stand also feature a small cafeteria and facilities for the referees. Also considered part of the stadium complex is the sports hall on the opposite side of the road from Malmö IP.[35]

The structure and facilities of the stadium has gone through several and changes since the opening of the sports field in 1896. When the sports field opened in 1896 the complex consisted of a football field with an oval velocipede track running around it as well as a main stand on the southern side of the field and a minor stand at the other side of the pitch, these fields were both terraced.[36] A larger stand was later built on the northern side of the field in the early 1920s, this stand is still a part of the stadium and has been proclaimed a landmark building by Malmö Stad, making any modifications to the stand illegal.[1] A larger and improved Southern Stand was built in 1931,[22] the same year as the tennis hall was built,[35] now located across the road which was built through the stadium complex in 1945.[29] Part of the sports field was also a restaurant located behind the Northern Stand and the great hall located beside it, these building were demolished to make way for the building of Malmö Opera and Music Theatre in 1944.[37] All stands and other facilities were demolished in the renovation of Malmö IP between 1978 and 1980, the only exception was the Northern Stand built in the 1920s.[38] New dressing room facilities were built, however none of the old stands were rebuilt. Malmö IP remained unchanged until the 1990s when IFK Malmö and Malmö FF collaborated with the city to rebuild the stands at the stadium to make Malmö IP usable for professional football once again.[39] The old running tracks were removed and Malmö IP was made into a football specific stadium with new stands located close to the pitch and completely new dressing room facilities as well as a cafeteria. The ground reopened after renovation on 1 August 1999.[1] The only change made to the stadium after 1999 was the change from a natural grass pitch to an artificial turf in 2008.[40]

panorama of Malmö IP in 2008 from the Southern Stand. The landmarked stand built in the 1920s is the third stand from the left.

International football

Malmö IP has hosted two international matches for Sweden, one friendly and one match in the Nordic Football Championship.


The ground's present attendance record was set on 1 June 1956, when 22,436 spectators saw the Allsvenskan match between Malmö FF and Helsingborgs IF which ended 3–0 in Helsingborgs favour.[4] Malmö FF played their first league game at the stadium on 2 May 1920 in Division 2 against IS Halmia, 1,277 spectators attended the match which ended in 3–0 win for Malmö.[41]

Average attendance for the first seasons at Malmö IP was below 1,000 spectators for the first seasons, except for the 1922 season when Malmö FF played in the unofficial first tier Svenska Serien. Malmö FF played in the second tier of Swedish football until the 1931–32 season when they entered Allsvenskan for the first time, this saw a notable increase in attendance up to 7000 spectators per game for the first seasons in Allsvenskan, 5000 more in attendance than the last couple of seasons. The average attendance steadily increased year by year through the 1940s until it reached its peak in 1950 for the 1949–50 season when Malmö FF went through the entire league season unbeaten, this season attracted an average attendance of 17,290 which is the third highest attendance in Malmö FF's history as of 2012. The attendance varied for Malmö FF's final seasons at the stadium around a level of 15,000 spectators on average per season. Malmö FF played their last league game at the stadium on 15 May 1958 against IFK Eskilstuna in Allsvenskan, 10,013 spectators attended the final match.[42]


Malmö IP is currently served by Malmö bus lines 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 all of which stop at Triangeln railway station, which opened in December 2010 as a part of Citytunneln. The station is served by Pågatåg and Öresund Trains, and is reachable non-stop from many parts of the Öresund Region.[43]

The closest parking location to Malmö IP is "P-huset Malmö IP", a parking garage with 506 parking spaces. It is located right next to the stadium.[44] There are also various other local parking spaces, and a large number of bicycle stands surrounding the stadium.




External links

  • Malmö IP at Malmö Stad's website (Swedish)
  • Malmö IP at IFK Malmö's website (Swedish)

Coordinates: 55°35′42″N 12°59′44″E / 55.59500°N 12.99556°E / 55.59500; 12.99556

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