It’s April and the football season in Finland is just about to restart, with the first round of games in the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s Premier League, taking place in early-April. I thought I’d explain how to get the most out of your visit to OmaSp Stadion, home of SJK Seinäjoki.
I’m going to start this blog with my first tip; even if you are coming to watch SJK Seinäjoki for the first time, it is well worth planning ahead a little and booking tickets online. Not only are the tickets cheaper if you book online, but there is always a queue at the ticket office, outside the stadium, on match days. My photo gallery below will take you through the online booking process step-by-step.
Click on the photo gallery, instructions are written below each image.
Getting to the ground
Address: Alaseinäjoenkatu 15, 60220 Seinäjoki
You will find the stadium just a couple of kilometers from the train station in the centre of Seinäjoki. There are a couple of bus routes that run on matchdays, the SJK Stadionbussit 2019, which bring fans from all across town and arrive in good time for kick-off. There is also enough parking around the ground, in car parks and in local streets.
My second tip, however, is to go to the game by bicycle. Not only will you be able to cycle past the queues of cars post-game, but you will also be able to enjoy a few drinks during the game.
If you booked online, your tickets will be sent to you via e-mail. You can print them out, or you can simply open them on your smart phone.
When you arrive at the turnstiles, open the ticket from your e-mail and scan the code (see the picture below.) The light will turn green and you can enter the ground.
Where to Sit?
OmaSp Stadion was opened in 2016. It offers a comfortable experience for up to 6,000 spectators, but each stand (katsomo) has a distinct vibe.
- The Main Stand (Pääkatsomo) is the highest of the stands, so it offers the best view of the game. This is also where the corporate guests sit and where you will find some heated seats! You’re position means you will hear the singing of both sets of fans and you are as close as possible to the warm, inside bars, which is particularly important on colder days.
- Opposite the Main Stand is the South Stand (Eteläkatsomo) This is a smaller stand, home to the press and TV boxes, as well as those making use of sponsors tickets. Because of this, it is a quieter area of the ground which will appeal to some visitors.
- Behind the home goal is the Kannattajapääty, or Supporters End which includes an area of safe standing. This is where the Klopit, SJK’s most fervent supporters, gather to sing, chant and clap their way through the game, accompanied by leader and Drummer, Lari. The group numbers a few hundred and makes enough noise to be heard around the ground. This is my area and, in my opinion, nothing beats being in the middle of the singing. It is very welcoming to new fans, there’s no obligation to sing but clapping along is appreciated. My third tip is that a change in licensing laws in Finland in 2018, means that you can now take beer into this area during the match – the only part of the ground that this is possible.
- In the Itäpääty (East Stand), at the opposite end of the ground, is the away fans corner (vieras kannattajapääty) which I don’t know much about, I’ve never been to THAT corner!
Photos by Mika Alavesa. Used by permission of SJK.
Food & Drink
If you buy the top-end tickets in the Main Stand, Kultalippu or golden ticket, you will be able to enjoy a finger-buffet in the Atria Lounge. Elsewhere around the stadium, like many Finnish sporting venues, the food leans heavily towards sausage-based sustenance; hot dogs, makkara, french fries. A selection of vegan sandwiches was also added to the menu in 2019.
There are bars located around the ground, some of which include an outdoor areas for smokers to ‘take some air’. The Carlsberg Sports Bar in the Main Stand is the largest of them and it is open before, during and after the game for all fans. Most of the bars require you to finish your drink before taking your seat in the stand, however, so if you are not sitting in the Main Stand, you might find that 15 minutes at half-time, isn’t long enough to finish your drink. I would suggest visiting one of the bars around the stadium at half-time, then head to ‘Carlsberg World’ at the final whistle.
My last tip is the Happy Hour(s), yes, there are more than one. For example, if the match starts at 17:00 on a Saturday, there is Happy Hour in the Carlsberg Sports Bar from 15-16:00. Then head to the bar behind the Kannattajapääty for another hour of offers from 16-17:00.
Additional Listening from Explore Finland Radio Show:
- Finnish Football Culture and the Rise of SJK
- The Finnish Football Show
- The 10th Anniversary of SJK’s Klopit
Explore Finland Radio Show