Foto Stadion-säätiö (c) Wellu Hämäläinen
Olympic Stadium: Architectural History and Events
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium is the most famous sports facility in Finland and a masterpiece of modern Finnish architecture.
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium is the most famous sports facility in Finland and a masterpiece of modern Finnish architecture. The first special exhibition of the renewed Sports Museum presents the remarkable history of this iconic building.
The exhibition revolves around two themes: architectural history of the building and events held in the Stadium.
The Olympic Stadium was inaugurated in 1938 and has since been expanded and renovated several times, first for the Olympic Games held in 1952 and later in keeping with their spirit. In the latest renovation completed in 2020 the Stadium was transformed into a multi-purpose arena of the new millennium. The exhibition features photographs from all building stages in the history of the Olympic Stadium. Timo Luomanen’s magnificent art photographs of the recently renewed Stadium are worth a special mention.
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium has hosted events in more than 20 different summer and winter sports, but track and field athletics and football have always been prominent. No other venue in the world has hosted more major international championships in track and field sport: over the years the Olympic Stadium has seen one Olympic Games, two World Athletics Championships and three European Athletics Championships.
The special exhibition presents the long history and wide range of Stadium events through photographs, film clips, objects and a remarkable work of the video artist Janne Ahola that features over 2,500 events with a combined total attendance of almost 25 million people projected on the wall in a continuous flow.
Concerts have also been an essential part of Stadium history. The start was modest, when Rolling Stones played to a crowd of 5,500 in Finland’s first stadium concert in September 1970, but all changed in the 1990’s, when the Olympic Stadium became a regular touring stop for world star artists, such as Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Iron Maiden. The rapper Cheek was the first Finnish artist who sold out the Olympic Stadium. On display is an outfit he used in his two concerts in August 2014.
Sports Museum of Finland