The field of dreams – and the stands around it
Norway’s national stadium, the Ullevaal, was created at the instigation of Lyn Oslo who played here from its opening in 1926 to the club’s demise in 2009. Today it is the home of Norway’s national team as well as being the stage for the Norwegian Cup Final. Holding an all-seated 28,000, it was also where Oslo’s only top-flight club, Vålerenga, played their home games, until they opened their own stadium in September 2017.
Also the HQ of the Norwegian FA that now owns it, the Ullevaal wasn’t used by the national team until nearly a decade after its opening, by which time Lyn had been firmly established there. The Sognsvann light-rail line, opened alongside the arena in 1934 and now part of the main metro network, today leads to Lyn’s club headquarters. The stadium is an easy, swift hop from the city centre.
An East Stand was added in 1938, a South Stand in 1967 and a West Stand in 1985. In 1998, with Norway at their second consecutive World Cup finals, further, major, renovations saw the running track removed and the stadium converted to a football-only arena. Undersoil heating was another plus.
The revamp also created the commercial outlets you see here today – lining the stadium’s circular exterior are a florist’s, a supermarket and a gym, though the Norwegian Football Museum has since closed. The 144-room hotel, in the Thon group, remains. While Lyn moved out in 2010 and now play at the Bislett Stadion, Vålerenga swapped the Bislett for the Ullevaal.
The ground is arranged in two tiers, four stands up close to the pitch. Away fans access the stadium through gate 16 and are placed in sectors 412 and 414 between the VG East Stand behind one goal and the telenor South Stand where that houses the press boxes. The noisiest home fans gather in the Bendit West Stand while the oddsen North Stand contains a family sector.
Going to the stadium – tips and timings
The Ullevaal has its own stop on blue circle line 4 and green line 6 on Oslo’s T-bane metro network, directly and quickly connected with the central stops of Nationaltheatret, Stortinget and Jernbanetorget/Oslo S.
The stadium is just over the main road Sognsveien, visible as you climb up to street level.
Buying tickets – when, where, how and how much
Admission prices are set at Nkr200, Nkr250 in the telenor tribune and Nkr100 reductions.
Fans of opposing national teams should check with their own FAs for ticket availability and distribution.
what to buy
Shirts, kits, merchandise and gifts
One of two stores in Oslo, the expanded Fotballshop (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-1pm, match days) by Dolly Dimple’s sells souvenirs for Norway fans – including Viking hats and the like – as well as shirts, scarves and sundry memorabilia for leading clubs and countries around the world.
There’s another store at Stenersgata 1 near Central Station.
Explore the stadium inside and out
Stadium tours (Nkr200) can be booked by contacting email@example.com.
Note that the Norwegian Football Museum is no longer in operation.
Where to Drink
Pre-match beers for fans and casual visitors
With no real bar around the stadium, the best option is the Perrongen sports pub (Sørkedalsveien 1), alongside the city-bound platform of Majorstuen metro station, three stops from Ullevaal. Cosy and lived-in, its interior is a veritable museum of Norwegian football, with retro pictures of national team line-ups and scarves a-plenty. Frigg Oslo, whose fans gather here, also feature.
At the stadium, there are two choices: the Egon restaurant, part of the Thon Hotel Ullevaal Stadion, and Dolly Dimple’s nearest the metro station. Each gets extremely busy pre- and post-match – Dolly Dimple’s is a pizzeria that sells Ringnes beer, lots of it when Norway play, and has a terrace.
Egon, with several restaurants attached to Thon hotels across Norway, is rustic in feel and serves hearty, homely classics. In deference to its location, and appreciative of the closure of the Norwegian Football Museum, it has created a display of its own, just to the left as you walk in from the stadium.
Retro memorabilia includes pennants of European giants and Blackburn Rovers while rare black-and-white photographs feature Norway fans setting the Union Jack at half-mast during the famous 1981 game, and an archive shot of the old Sognsvann train going past the Ullevaal before the metro was built. Full-time sees queues for the bar counter but of a quiet pre-match afternoon, the Egon is a fine place for a beer and a gaze at Norway’s football history.
If you land tickets in Ullevaal’s VIP section, the busy, extensive bar sells Carlsberg and serves, somewhat incongruously, gooey cakes.