Avangard Stadium Pripyat

Припятский стадион “Авангард”

This is the Avangard Stadium in Pripyat. It was, along with the Lazurny pool, the most important object of the city’s sports infrastructure. It was named, like several other sport fields, after the Ukrainian Sports Society Trade Union.

Pripyat was founded in February 1970. The average age of the inhabitants of Pripyat was only 26 years, with almost 10 thousand people under the age of 18. Due to the demographic characteristics of the city, sport played a large role in the daily life of its inhabitants.

FC Stroitel Pripyat
In the mid-1970s, a football club was formed in Pripyat. The club was named ‘FC Stroitel Pripyat’ or in Russian ‘ФК «Строитель» Припять’. Stroitel means builder, because most members were builders of the city and the close-by power plant. The first years the club was mainly composed of players from the neighboring village of Chistogalovka, as well as workers involved in the construction of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In 1981 they became champions of the amateur division of the Kiev region. In 1985 they became second at the Soviet Amateur Football League.

Before the construction of this Vanguard Stadium, Pripyat received football guests in an old small stadium on the outskirts of Pripyat. The small stands of the old stadium were always packed. Therefore, the construction of a new stadium was a welcome gift to the residents of the city. The new stadium for five thousand people was located almost in the city center. The construction of the stadium was completed in 1986, a grand gala opening was planned for the celebration of Labor Day on May 1. On April 26, the explosion of Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, brought down all the plans and hopes for Pripyat. On the photo above you can see the stadium at nighttime, a couple of weeks before the accident.

When the city of Pripyat was abandoned after the disaster of 1986, the new city of Slavutych was founded at the end of the same year. The new city was purposely built for the evacuated people. FC Stroitel returned to the field in 1987 under the new name ‘FC Stroitel Slavutych’. Sadly the success was gone and its activities stopped after the end of season 1988.

In the aftermath of the accident, the stadium was used as a landing pad for helicopters. Later, a meteorological station was placed on the football field with equipment for monitoring the radiation in the Exclusion Zone. Today the field is overgrown and the grandstand is crumbling down.

The Avangard stadium is well known to fans of computer games. The sports facility is part of the ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl’ video game.

  • The Grandstand.
  • The stadium was built in the year of the disaster.
  • Home of ‘FC Stroitel Pripyat’.
  • Inside the building.
  • The field was used a couple of times, but the official opening never took place.
  • Up to the grandstand.
  • The benches are rotting.
  • A grand gala opening was planned for May 1.
  • The construction of the stadium was completed in 1986.
  • Today the field is overgrown and the grandstand is crumbling down.
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