“Niko Dovana” Stadium: Durrës’ Main Sports Venue
Niko Dovana stadium is the largest sports facility in the coastal city of Durrës, Albania. It mainly hosts football matches and serves as the home ground of the local team KF Teuta. The stadium has a total seated capacity of 12,040, making it currently the sixth largest in Albania. A running track intended for athletes surrounds the football pitch.
A Short History Of “Niko Dovana” Stadium
The stadium opened in 1965 bearing the name Lokomotiva. In 1991, the venue was renamed Niko Dovana in honor of Teuta’s famous goalkeeper (active in the 1930s-1940s). In 2010, electric constructors mounted four floodlight towers that allowed the venue to host matches during the night. Indeed, on the night of 11 August 2010, the stadium hosted its first game of the Albanian national football team, Albania vs. Uzbekistan (1-0) international friendly. On 5 March 2014, the stadium hosted another match of the national football selection (the international friendly won 2-0 against Malta).
The inner facilities of Niko Dovana stadium received a makeover in 2017. This renovation consisted of upgrading the dressing rooms, creating dedicated and suitable spots for journalists and tv operators, and revitalizing the whole facade of the central stand. Plastic seats were installed, for the first time, at the stand fronting the main one. This renovation allowed the home team of Teuta to host international matches eligible for UEFA club competitions.
The year 2019 marked another event in the stadium’s history; on 26 November, a 6.4 Rihter scale earthquake hit the city of Durrës, killing 25 people within the country and at least 26 in neighboring counties. This natural disaster destroyed the homes of hundreds of people, displacing them for a significant period. In response to the event, the “Niko Dovana” stadium hosted the tents of displaced citizens in search of shelter and served as a center for distributing aid to the ones in need.
What The Future Holds For “Niko Dovana” Stadium
In 2022, Durrës’ main stadium became part of Albania’s Football Federation (FSHF) investment project of “100 Fusha” (“100 Pitches”). The venue benefited by having a new area of surface grass for its pitch. Two training ground pitches (adjacent to the stadium) were part of the same project. Both training pitches got covered in a new, high-quality grass surface area to boost the development of young talents.
The future holds a lot in store for the city of Durrës and especially for its stadium. Proposed projects for a new, modern “Niko Dovana” stadium include an increase in the stadium’s capacity, full coverings above the stands, a new lighting system, and an all-seated venue. Meanwhile, stands behind the posts are still not equipped with plastic seats. The running track may also need upgrades to Olympic standards.
“Niko Dovana” stadium features in our top 10 Albanian stadiums *