Rajko Mitić Stadium: Red Star Belgrade (FK Crvena zvezda) & Serbia National Team

Ljutice Bogdana 1a, Beograd 11040, Serbia
Rajko Mitić Stadium Stadium View From Above - Vlada Marinković [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda, better known by the English name of Red Star Belgrade, is a Serbian football club based in the country’s capital city of Belgrade. The team is best known for having won the European Cup, now the Champions League, back in 1991. They’re the only Serbian or Yugoslavian team to do so, having also become the only team from those nations to win the Intercontinental Cup that year.

The club plays its games at the Rajko Mitić Stadium, also known as Red Star Stadium. It is named in honour of the club’s former player, Rajko Mitić, and has enough room for more than 55,000 supporters. That makes it the largest stadium in Serbia, which is fitting because the club is also the most popular team in the country. Opened in 1963, it hosted the final of the European Cup in 1973 and some of the matches for the European Championship in 1976.

Stats

Rajko Mitić Stadium Stats
Year Opened1963
Capacity55,538
Average Attendance13,566
Record Attendance110,000 (Red Star v Ferencváros (23/04/1975))
Pitch Size110 x 73 (8030)
NicknameMarakana
Former NameRed Star Stadium
OwnerRed Star Belgrade
Clubs HostedRed Star Belgrade, Serbia National Team
First FixtureYugoslavia v NK Rijeka (1963)
Serbia Stats
Year Founded1919
NicknameОrlovi / Орлови (The Eagles)
RivalsCroatia
KitRed (Home) / White with Red (Away)
Training GroundSports Centre of the Football Association of Serbia
Record GoalscorerStjepan Bobek (38)
Record AppearancesBranislav Ivanović (105)
Red Star Belgrade Stats
Year Founded1945
Nickname"Звезда / Zvezda (The Star) Црвено-бели / Crveno-beli (The Red-Whites)"
RivalsPartisan Belgrade
Previous StadiumsAvala
KitRed & White Stripes (Home) / Blue & Black (Away) / Grey & Red (Third)
Shirt SponsorGazprom
Team OwnerSvetozar Mijailović
Record GoalscorerBora Kostić (230)
Record AppearancesDragan Džajić (389)

Rajko Mitić Stadium Photos

Rajko Mitić Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Rajko Mitić Stadium has a bowl design, with one side of the ground being larger than the other. The North Stand and South Stand are located behind each of the goals, with the North Stand being where the club’s most vocal supporters are located.

The South Stand, on the other hand, is where the away supporters tend to be put, which isn’t a bad gig when you consider it’s basically a mirror imagine of the North Stand. The West Stand is the largest section of the ground and it’s where the likes of the changing rooms and dugouts are housed.

Serbia Ticket Prices

When it comes to tickets for Serbia matches, things get slightly more complicated. The pricing for them is often set not by the stadium or the national team but rather by the organising body of the match. For international games, therefore, it can often be UEFA deciding how much people should be asked to pay, so it’s always worth checking out the website of the governing body responsible for the match you want to watch.

How To Get Serbia Tickets

Again, a lot of ticketing is run through the governing body for the competition that you’re hoping to watch a match in. It’s always worth calling the stadium directly, though, because the chances are that it won’t have sold out unless it’s a hugely important match.

Where to Buy

Red Star Belgrade Ticket Prices

Tickets for Red Star matches usually sit at the RSD 100 to RSD 200 range, as long as you just want normal tickets. You can expect to pay much more than that if you want to sit in the hospitality section or if you want to see a high profile game such as one against rivals Partisan Belgrade.

How To Get Red Star Belgrade Tickets

The best way to get tickets for matches is online, though do bear in mind that your Serbian will need to be good to do so through the club’s website. The best thing to do is to head along to the ground as you’ll almost always be able to get tickets, with only derbies against Partisan Belgrade tending to come even close to selling out.

Where to Buy

Getting To Rajko Mitić Stadium

Train - If you want to get the train to Belgrade then you’re going to be heading on the Eurostar to Munich before jumping the sleeper to Zagreb. After that it’s a local train Belgrade itself, from which it’s about 3 miles to the stadium. It you don’t want to walk then trams 9, 10 and 14 all stop at the ground from the main railway station.

Bus - Bus number 40 from Takovaska Avenue and number 41 from Trg Studentski Square will both get you to the ground relatively painlessly.

Car - The stadium is located just off the E-75, so that’s what you’ll want to head towards if you’re driving.

By Air - Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is pretty much a straight shot along the E-70 and E-75 to the stadium, with the journey likely to take about half an hour.

Taxi - It will take you around twenty minutes to get a train from the centre of Belgrade to Rajko Mitić Stadium and will cost in the region of 741,90 дин.

Parking Near Rajko Mitić Stadium

There is limited parking around the stadium, so driving there isn’t really the most recommended of ideas.

Useful Resources

Rajko Mitić Stadium Hotels

Villa Mystique - £40+

Vajara Djoke Jovanovica 16, Belgrade, 11000
There’s something intriguing about the idea of staying in a hotel named Mystique, but in actual fact there’s not much mystery about this place. Boasting 13 rooms, a restaurant and bar onsite and free WiFi, Villa Mystique is a pleasant little idyll about twenty minutes walk from the stadium. There’s an outdoor pool, so if you’re there when the weather is good then it’s a lovely spot to unwind before heading to the match. More details.

Radisson Collection Hotel, Old Mill Belgrade - £80+

Vojvode Misica Boulevard 15, Belgrade
Sometimes you need the comforts of a chain hotel and that’s exactly what the Radisson offers. A half hour walk from the ground and close to the Church of Saint Sava, you can make use of a fitness suite and full-service spa here. There’s a business centre if you’re hoping to get a bit of work done and guests can also take advantage of the free WiFi to keep in touch with folks back home. It lacks the personal touch of the Villa Mystique, but with more than 230 rooms you’re more likely to find a space to stay here. More details.

Hilton Belgrade - - £100+

Kralja Milana 35, Belgrade, 11000
The fact that the Hilton is also located close to the Church of Saint Sava probably tells you that this is the spot for the slightly more upmarket hotels. The Hilton offers 2 bars and 2 restaurants within its walls, meaning that you’ll only really need to leave if you want to take the 40 minute walk to the stadium ready for kick-off. That would be a shame, though, given than the Nikola Tesla Museum is less than 10 minutes walk away. Read all about what it has to offer courtesy of the hotel’s free WiFi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Rajko Mitić Stadium

The Three Carrots

Kneza Miloša, Belgrade (+381 11 2683748)
As night follows day and England will lose on penalties sooner or later, so too will you be able to find an Irish bar if you head to a city that offers football. The Three Carrots promises Guinness, cocktails and good craic as well as a plentiful supply of spirits. You can expect bar snacks more than full on food options, but as long as you’re prepared to have a laugh and a drink then you’ll get on just fine here.

Sport Cafe

Makedonska 4, Belgrade (+381 63 0315045)
It might not be the most original name ever invented for a cafe that shows sport, but it does give you all of the pertinent information. Whether you want to perch on a tall seat at the bar or sit in one of the booths, you’ll have an excellent view of one of the many large screens dotted around the place. The drinking options are numerous and the menu is decent enough to keep you full whilst you’re watching some live sport.

Marshall Pub

Ćirila i Metodija 2, Belgrade 11050 (+381 11 3862448)
If you fancy something approximating home comforts but the Irish bar isn’t for you then you might want to make your way to the Marshall Pub. Expect wood-panelled walls, an Old English feel to the decor and a big screen showing whatever football the people in attendance fancy watching. The drinks are a curious mixture of ales and lagers and local cocktails, which is fun.

Facilities

The stadium is one of the best in Serbia, with facilities that match that honour. It might not be as impressive as the very best grounds in England, but it’s better than more of the lower league ones.

Hospitality

Red Star stadium at dusk before a match - Isimic [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous hospitality options available to visitors to Red Star’s stadium. The main hospitality section is in the West Stand, which also has the benefit of almost entirely being covered with a roof in case the weather turns nasty.

The central box is named Five Crvena zvezda’s Stars and is split up into five sections, each named after a former player and offering a differing level of hospitality.

Private Hire

It’s common for clubs with decent hospitality facilities to offer them out for private hire, with Red Star following that pattern.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Tours are available, but it’s something you need to chat to the club about directly as they no longer run regular ones. There is a museum on site, though, which you can visit from 9am.

About Serbia

As you might have picked up on from reading the rest of this page, the history of the Serbian national team is a complicated one. There was a Football Federation formed in 1919 in Zagreb that represented the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It was renamed as Yugoslavia in 1929 and the head of the country’s FA was moved to Belgrade. The national team of Yugoslavia then appeared in the World Cup of 1930, finishing third. In the years that followed there was a general feeling of being settled for Yugoslavia to the outside world, but internally things were never that simple.

In the 1990s Yugoslavia was dissolved and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia remained, though was not allowed to compete in Euro ’92. It consisted of Serbia and Montenegro and played its first official game as a country in 1994. Montenegro didn’t declare its independence from Serbia until 2006, so does the history of the country’s football team date back to 1919 or 2006? If the former then their finest achievement in the World Cup was that of 1930 and in the European Championship was two runners-up spots in 1960 and 1968, whilst it the latter then they’ve not done particularly well in either the World Cup or the Euros.

About Red Star Belgrade

Red Star Belgrade Logo - Vukasin005 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As the Second World War was coming to its climax a group of young men from the Serbian United Antifascist Youth League decided to create a Youth Physical Culture Society. That was the basis for Red Star Belgrade, which was officially formed on the 4th of March 1945. All pre-war Serbian clubs were abolished in 1944, so Red Star was created out of the remnants of the city’s two most popular teams, SK Jugoslavija and BSK Belgrade. Discussion surrounding possible names for the club were long, with Red Star eventually decided upon over alternatives such as Blue Star and the People’s Star.

The club enjoyed success almost immediately, including victories in the Yugoslav Championship, the Danube Cup and the Serbian Championship. Perhaps most English supporters know the name of Red Star Belgrade because they were the club that Manchester United played in the European Cup quarter-finals in 1958, with the plane carrying the Busy Babes crashing on the way home, resulting in the deaths of many of the players. The club’s biggest achievement outside of Serbia came in the 1991-1992 season when they went unbeaten during their European Cup campaign, defeating Marseille in the final to lift the trophy.

Rajko Mitić Stadium History

Red Star Fans In stadium -belgraded.com from Serbia [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Whilst Rajko Mitić Stadium has been the club’s home since it opened its doors for the first time in 1963, it only took on the name of the club’s former player in 2014. It had an unofficial capacity of 110,000 in the early years, earning it the nickname of the Marakana after the Maracanã Stadium in Brazil. The capacity was reduced during the 1990s when UEFA rules dictated that standing areas were no longer allowed, so the ground was renovated in order to ensure more spectator comfort and safety was made a priority. Over the years more and more changes have been made to the ground as it has struggled to conform with both new rules and modern designs.

It’s not just in the stands where improvements have been made. In 2008 the pitch was entirely reconstructed in order to introduce under-soil heating and a superior drainage system. As a result, the club took the opportunity to install more modern turf. They also improved the club’s training ground at the same time, largely because it was convenient as it’s located right next to the stadium. The stadium is considered to be one of the most intimidating in world football on occasions when it is sold out, if for no other reason than the continuous bowl seating allows supporters to encourage each other to sing and chant.

There was a stadium opened at the same site as the current ground stands back in 1927, belonging to SK Jugoslavija. It was signed over to Red Star after the war and was knocked down in 1959, with the new ground being build over the following three years.

Future Developments

Red Star stadium view from stands -Bobik [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Red Star board proposed a new ground be built on the site of the Rajko Mitić Stadium. The main structure will be in the shape of a 5-pointed star in honour of the club’s name, with hotels, fitness centres and shopping areas also built in the surrounding location. It is meant to cost around €600 million to build, but at the time of writing nothing has been started.

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