Donbass Arena: Down, But Not Out

Shakhtar Donetsk is Looking Forward to a Return Home

By Dan Stelly | Photo via Mathew F


donbass3

Tenants: Shakhtar Donetsk

Location: Donetsk, Ukraine

Capacity: 52,187

Opened: 2009

Shakhtar Donetsk recently played their first home game of the Ukrainian Premier League season, but Donbass Arena sat empty — no fans, no players, and none of the goals that ultimately resulted in Shakhtar’s 2–0 win. The Ukrainian powerhouse currently plays its home games in Lviv, 16 hours away from the ground that fell victim to artillery shelling during last year’s pro-Russian campaign that affected many of the country’s eastern cities.

Today, the stadium is still undergoing extensive repairs. Sections of its sweeping glass facade are being replaced and structural issues caused by the shell fire are still being investigated. Although the arena won’t be welcoming its home team any time soon, its reputation as a fortress may only be stronger after surviving regional warfare. With its home still standing, Shakhtar Donetsk’s fans, players, and goals will return in time.

donbass4

Note: Each week, we highlight a new stadium, from Old Trafford and the Camp Nou to Rhyl FC’s 3,000-seat Belle Vue ground. If you’d like to have this feature (along with other dispatches from the soccer universe) delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly bulletin.

Additional photos: Ilya Dobrioglo & Timon91

Tweet