Ground: T3 Arena (Gammliavallen)
Date: 2nd July 2012
Match: Umeå - Landskrona 3-1 (Superettan)
Attendance: 1 837
Umeå were crowned champions of Division 1 Norra last season and that meant I had a new ground to visit to re-complete Superettan. Umeå is situated 1 200 km from Kristianstad and after two nights in Stockholm I left our capital on Monday morning for Arlanda airport. As I was sitting by my gate I heard a familiar voice right behind me. Landskrona, Umeå´s opponents in today´s match are managed by Sweden and Celtic legend Henrik Larsson. He and the rest of the team were booked on the same flights as myself. Being a celebrity in Sweden there were quite a few surprised faces recognising Henrik. The flight to Umeå took around 1 h and as we walked into the terminal in Umeå some airport workers, not aware of the Umeå match, were asking each other "What is Henrik Larsson doing in Umeå?". Thankfully I am not as famous as Henrik Larsson but at least one person in the arrival´s hall recognised me. That was Stefan who I have met on trips to England. He was my host for the day and I stayed the night at his place.
T3 Arena, or Gammliavallen as it used to be called, has been rebuilt in recent years. The running tracks have been removed and two new stands have been built. Only the two-tiered West Stand remain from the old Gammliavallen. As Stefan and I visited the ground around noon I was able to walk round the stands taking as many pictures as I wanted. The south end of T3 Arena is also part of the indoor arena next to the football ground. It is the VIP area and on top of it there are a couple of rows with seats. We ran into the arena director and when he heard I had come all the way from Skåne for this match he opened up the VIP-arena for us and I could take some pictures from there as well. The arena director also told me the temporary terrace at the north end had been dismantled after the Hammarby match. No other team have apparantly brought more than 10 away fans to Umeå. There are plans to build a permanent stand but no decision as yet though.
During the day I then visited several parts of Umeå including a trip to Baggaböle where you had some great views of Ume Älv. Later in the afternoon we paid a visit to Jocke, who I also met in England last year. He had an impressive collection of QPR shirts and as we had coffee he used his QPR mugs. After a visit to a restaurant for some food we went to the ground and 30 minutes before kick-off we were sitting in the sunshine in the East Stand. Before this match Umeå were bottom of the table and without a win at home. My visit obviously inspired the home team. After a great free-kick it was 1-0 to Umeå. Landskrona equalised but Umeå were the better team and in the end they won by 3-1. This was a good match for a neutral to attend and despite being a very long trip from southern Sweden I am pleased to have visited T3 Arena and re-complete the second tier of Swedish football.
City of birches
Rear of the East Stand
View of T3 Arena
View of play
View of play