Ljubljana breathes with sports and its habitants are taking advantage of the Green Capital of Europe and all its sports areas. Between 2007 and 2017, Ljubljana’s recreational and green areas have increased by more than 1 sq.m. per capita, what means as much as 329.500 sq.m. of new outdoor areas intended for sports and recreation. In accordance with the strategy of sports in the City of Ljubljana, the plan is to increase the areas for sports in nature and in the urban environment to 2 sq.m. per capita by 2028. In these plans a construction of new, and renovations and enlargements of existing sports venues are included as well.
The city has also been known for hosting diverse set of sports events, from the world’s first Volleyball match on a river to events of the highest character. For example, already in 1970, Slovenia’s capital hosted the 6th FIBA Basketball World Cup, the international basketball world championship for men’s teams. The event still today resonates as one of the most exciting events in history of basketball when communist Yugoslavia won against the team of United States. However, the important sports events in Ljubljana neither started there nor stopped.
Some of the most recent ones were the 2019 Men’s European Volleyball Championship, UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 final tournament, and FIBA EuroBasket 2013, to name the few. These were all held in the Stožice Sports Centre, a hybrid 182.000 sq.m. sports complex, which consists of state-of-the-art indoor Arena with 12.000 seats and a football stadium with 16,000 seats. UEFA has assessed Ljubljana’s football stadium as one of Europe’s top three most beautiful stadiums in its category. Since the start of its operations in 2010, Stožice has also hosted an equestrian event, a motorcycle competition, and countless concerts and other large-scale events and international congresses.
Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful park, Tivoli Park, which stretches right into the city centre, covers around five square kilometers and it blends into the slopes of the Rožnik hill, to which it is connected by several walking paths and a trim trail with several exercise stations along its length. Tivoli Park also boasts Sports Park Tivoli with a large ‘ice’ hall for hockey competitions and trainings, measuring 4.500 sq.m. with 4.150 seats, and an adjacent hall, intended primarily for ball sports, measuring 3.000 sq.m. with 4.050 seats. The hall is equipped with all the accompanying rooms for the organization of major sporting events, including places for sportscasters and studios for radio and television teams, etc. Sports Park Tivoli consists also of the swimming pool area, tenis courts, basketball courts, etc. The hockey hall was renovated in 2020 to get it ready for the upcoming Worldchampionship of group B in hockey.
A bit of a walk from the city centre, the Sports Park Kodeljevo, whose first buildings started operating around 1960 and were growing since, sits amidst green areas and hills. Since the start of its operations, there were three swimming pools added, several tenis courts, a large sports hall, and a football court. The pool areas were completely renovated a few years before the hall and the stadium were in 2018 in 2019. Swimming pools are also available for trainings and competitions in venue Kolezija which has been built on the site of former city baths that dated back to the 19th century. Kolezija was completely renovated in 2015 and the complex of outdoor pools includes an Olympic swimming pool. Rich with swimming pools is also Sports Centre Ilirija that consists of Olympic pool. Ilirija is now undergoing a complete renovation which should be finished by 2024. Sports Centre’s complete renovation will take care of the Olympic pool and its amenities, a new sports Museum, a larger hall for recreation, volleyball and basketball, a gymnastics hall, aerobics and fitness, and a hall for martial arts, etc.
Another centre that provides space for gymnastic competitions is Gymnastic Centre Ljubljana, the modern Olympic and national gymnastics center that provides top conditions for training and the possibility of organizing competitions at the highest international level. On four floors, there is a large gymnastics hall, a gym for guided exercises, two sports halls equipped with a modern fitness centre, a space for guided exercises, grandstands, a restaurant and changing rooms. The Centre also provides athletes with accommodation during their preparation for competitions.