Eurovision 2016: get to know the Globen Arena
Fotis Konstantopoulos (Greece)
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Ericsson Globe (originally known as Stockholm Globe Arena) is the national indoor arena of Sweden, located in the Johanneshov district of Stockholm (Stockholm Globe City). The Ericsson Globe is currently the largest hemispherical building in the world and took two and a half years to build. Shaped like a large white ball, it has a diameter of 110 metres (361 feet) and an inner height of 85 metres (279 feet). The volume of the building is 605,000 cubic metres (21,188,800 cubic feet). It has a seating capacity of 16,000 spectators for shows and concerts, and 13,850 for ice hockey. It represents the Sun in the Sweden Solar System, the world’s largest scale model of the Solar System.
On February 2, 2009, the naming rights to the Stockholm Globe Arena were officially acquired by Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson, and it became known as the Ericsson Globe.
The Globe is primarily used for ice hockey, and is the former home arena of AIK, Djurgårdens IF, and Hammarby IF. It opened in 1989 and seats (since 2005) 13,850 for ice hockey games, but is also used for musical performances as well as other sports than ice hockey, for example futsal (indoor football). It is owned by FCA fastigheter. The third team to play a home game in their league was Huddinge IK (three home games there, all in 1993), followed by Hammarby IF (20 home games in The Globen to this day) and AC Camelen (one game in 1998, in the sixth level league, with 92 spectators). The first international game played in Globen was between Hammarby IF (Sweden) and Jokerit (Finland) a couple of weeks before the grand opening, although the players were only 12 years old at the time (born 1977) and it was a friendly game. The arena has been the home of the finals of Sveriges Television’s yearly music competition Melodifestivalen since 2002. Ericsson Globe also hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2000.
A small cottage in aluminum with a 12-square-metre (130 sq ft) base was placed upon the Globe on May 26, 2009. The artist’s intention with the arrangement is to illustrate two important symbols for Sweden: the high-technology Globe building and the traditional, simple small countryside cottage in Falu red with house corners painted in white. The house was positioned some distance from the exact top position of the Globe. The artist hopes he will eventually manage to place a similar cottage on the Moon. The cottage remained on the Globe until October 2009.
Skyview is an exterior inclined elevator which transport passengers onto the top of the arena. It has two spherical gondolas, each able to accommodate up to 16 passengers, which travel along parallel tracks on the exterior of the south side of the globe.
Skyview opened in February 2010 and carried 160,000 people during its first year of operation. It provides virtually unobstructed views over Stockholm, and during the summer and on weekends all available tours can sell out, so pre-booking is recommended.