Are you on holidays or planning to stay longer in Poland? If you get bored with capital-city attractions, we invite you to head for Katowice in the South of Poland. Among other charming spots like Silesian Museum, Historical Museum of Katowice, Nikiszowiec and Giszowiec (mine worker’s quarters), Wilson Shaft Gallery, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Silesia Park, there is a unique building in the city that looks like a UFO from a distance. It is a Spodek Arena. What is this mysterious construction for? Where does this mysterious come from? Maybe it is a gift from the outer planet, maybe a secret cosmic project or reminder of space conquests. Reading this article will unravel the mystery.
New in Katowice? You have to visit Spodek Arena
If you ask natives about Katowice, apart from opinions that it is a dull and grey industrial city, where you can find absolutely nothing interesting, you will hear that the best concerts, shows and sporting events take place there. The Spodek Arena can be accessed easily from many places due to its perfect location in the city center. It was opened in 1971, and nobody then could predict that in XXI century it would be still so attractive. Even more, it has become one of the most widely recognized gem of Polish architecture. The structure of this extraordinary masterpiece is unique and impressive. Its futuristic shape is visible from the distance. It looks like a spaceship, which landed in the center of the city. Apart from unprecedented look, it is also a multipurpose sport and show venue with a capacity of 11,500 people with total surface of 7 ha. It hosted major national and international events, such as concerts by world-famous artists, important championships and finals. Additional recreational spaces, such as the swimming pool, sauna, ice rink and gym, make it even more attractive. If you like high class entertainment, consider studying or staying in Katowice longer.
IEM Katowice-annual gaming event
Once a year, Spodek Arena becomes a Mecca of e-sports. Thousands of the best gamers and teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Star Craft II and many other titles, invade Spaceship in Katowice. IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) is an annual multigame event holded in the city. This is the longest running global pro gaming tour in the world. The finals take place in Katowice, whereas mid-season events are held in numerous cities around the globe, like Chicago or Sydney. It is sponsored by Intel since 2006. Value of rewards for a winner is higher year by year. In 2021, you could fight for $1 000 000 prize. The event has become surprisingly popular, especially since the introduction of CS:GO in 2014. It is at the top of the global e-sports calendar, being the most viewed event of this kind. In addition to CS:GO tournament, IEM Katowice organizes a lot of smaller shows for other e-sports competitions as well as a huge expo for visitors. So, if you happen to be around Katowice during winter, be sure to come by.
Concerts at Spodek
Spodek has an enormous potential for large-scale events. A total of 11,036 seats, 29,473 m² of usable area draws into thousands of people with hunger of extraordinary experiences. For tens of years it has hosted performances of Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Brian Adams, Vanessa Mae, Deep Purple, Sting, Metallica, Chris Rea, The Cure, Genesis, Jean Michel Jarre, Black Sabbath, Cliff Richard, Elton John, Mike Oldfield, Rammstein, Iron Maiden, The Kelly Family, Robbie Williams and Depeche Mode. Since 1992, Spodek is filled with blues rhythms thanks to annual Rawa Blues Festival. All hard-rock and heavy-metal fans have their Metalmania – the biggest metal music festival in Eastern Europe. Techno sounds blare all over the neighborhood during Mayday. Eska Music Awards, European Economic Congress and European Start-up Days can be also seen there. Moreover, in such extraordinary scenery Miss Supranational finals, “Katowice” International Mining, Energy, and Metallurgy Trade Fair, the “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition, the International Pedigree Dog Show and the Wedding Trade Fair, were performed attracting several thousands of people each time. Connecting the Spodek to the International Congress Centre launched a business potential of the arena. Every year it hosts international congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, conferences, as well as banquets and galas. Leading businessmen and politicians meet here to solve current international issues.
Sport at Spodek
Spodek is also connected with healthy lifestyle and sport promotion. Sport fans from all over the world eagerly participate here in great events of the World Championships in weight-lifting, bodybuilding, acrobatic gymnastics, European Championships in wrestling, athletics, men’s handball and women’s basketball. Katowice’s “Spaceship” hosted the best sport teams of hockey, volleyball and handball. The most fantastic and memorable sports events took place within its walls. Spodek is open to active life lovers throughout the year, tempting everybody aged 1+ with:
- ice rink,
- fitness gym,
- indoor swimming pool with two saunas and different water attractions.
Alongside music and sports events, it also organizes ice shows for children, circus performances with acrobats, exhibitions and trade fairs.
You can also register for a guided tour of Spodek full of interesting facts and historical anecdotes. You will see main hall, sliding sectors and VIP rooms. For all, it can be a really memorable experience.
To be or not to be in Spodek Arena in Katowice?
To be in Poland and not visit the Spodek Arena is like visit Italy without entering Colosseum. It is a very characteristic, exceptional building with a rich history. In a short time it became an international center of entertainment, culture sport and the most recognizable icon of Polish architecture.
Ready for a quest for extraterrestrial experiences?