Ground: Falcon Alkoholfri Arena
Date: 2nd April 2017
Match: Falkenbergs FF - Öster 0-2 (Superettan)
Attendance: 4 131
Falkenbergs FF used to play at Falkenbergs IP
In 2007 I attended the Superettan game between Falkenbergs FF and Mjällby AIF. After getting promotion to the Swedish second tier in 2002 Falkenberg were in 2007 an established Superettan team. To me they were a club who would never make it to Allsvenskan but in 2013 Falkenbergs FF managed to win Superettan. That meant the club would play in Allsvenskan for the first time ever. Falkenbergs IP is a typical (small town) council-owned ground with combined use for football and athletics. With ground regulations saying you need at least 3 000 covered seats in Allsvenskan it was obvious something had to be done and in 2014 a decision was taken to build a new ground. The ground, later named Falcon Alkoholfri Arena, was built in the Kristineslätt area of Falkenberg and has a capacity of 5 300. Unfortunately Falkenberg were relegated from Allsvenskan at the end of last season meaning the first game at the new ground was to be a Superettan game. Once the fixture list for Superettan was published I was pleased to find out the opening game was to be Falkenbergs FF v Östers IF from Växjö. Öster are one of the few clubs in Superettan who will take a decent away following, especially if they are playing on a weekend. Kick-off for this historic game was 15.00 on Sunday afternoon and at 11.30 set off for the two-hour drive to Falkenberg.
Once outside the ground it was easy to find a parking spot and after a few exterior pictures I met up with my friends Christian and Magnus from Gothenburg. I was not sure whether the pitch would be artificial or a natural grass one. Fortunately it is a grass pitch at Falcon Alkoholfri Arena and I have to say the ground feels fresh. The two stands are wooden and the leg room is excellent. The West Stand is all-seated while the East Stand has two standing areas (and a seating area in between). The most southern of those are given to the visitors. Falkenbergs FF were hoping for a sell-out. That was not to be the case but 4 131 is a very good attendance for a game like Falkenberg v Öster. The visitors from Växjö brought around 400 fans in total and for most of the 90 minutes they gave the side a good vocal support. "Your support is worse than Kalmar´s" was a popular chant from the away section. Once the home fans made some noise "Your support is better than Kalmar´s" could be heard. Kalmar are of course Öster´s eternal rivals when it comes to football. On the pitch was calmer, 0-0 until the 80th minute when Öster scored from a free-kick. In stoppage time the visitors scored again to win 2-0. The last goal was scored in front of an open goal after the Falkenberg goal-keeper went up for a corner. After the game I stayed behind for a few interior pictures before saying to good bye to my fellow groundhoppers from Gothenburg. All in all a good day out and Superettan is now (once again) complete!
Falcon Alkoholfri Arena
Falcon Alkoholfri Arena, view from behind the south end
Falcon Alkoholfri Arena, view from behind the north end
Rear of the West Stand
Interior of the West Stand
View of play
View of Falcon Alkoholfri Arena
After the game