Stadium Hop #5 | Huvepharma Arena
Stadium Name: Huvepharma Arena or as it’s better known, Ludogorets Stadium
Club: PFC Ludogorets 1945 Razgrad
League: Bulgarian First League
Nickname: Орлите (The Eagles)
Colours: Green and Black
Stadium Capacity: 10,422
Date: 8th November 2018
Teams: Ludogorets vs A.E.K Larnaca 0-0
Competition: Uefa Europa League Group Stage
An Overview of Ludogorets
The football club as we know it was established on June 18, 2001. It’s a relatively young club, just like the Danish giants FC Midtjylland. It was built on the foundations of the debt-troubled football club in the city at the time, which explains the “1945” year engraved on the crest. After playing for several seasons in the lower divisions of the country, Ludogorets shining times began in the 2009/2010 season. The club was promoted to the Bulgarian B Group and from there, the journey to the top began!
In these past 18 years since the club has been established, Ludogorets managed to clinch 8 First League Titles, 2 Bulgarian Cups, 4 Bulgarian Super Cups and a Bulgarian Second League Title. On a European level, the club qualified twice for the UEFA Champions League and 5 times for the Europa League.
Hottest Games to Attend at the Ludogorets Stadium
Being the only professional football team in Razgrad, Ludogorets doesn’t play any local derbies as we know them. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking they haven’t got any rivalries. Two of the most bitter rivals of Ludogorets are CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia, two of the most successful football clubs in the country. Although well over 300km apart, the Huvepharma Arena sees record attendance (and one hell of an atmosphere) each time these teams meet.
Getting to the Stadium and Where to Sleep after Watching PFC Ludogorets
Razgrad isn’t one of the cities that attract most tourists in Bulgaria. So, the chances of just stumbling there aren’t that high. However, Razgrad lies close to the popular city and seaside resort of Varna. Direct buses stop at Razgrad from both the capital city Sofia and Varna. It would make the perfect pit-stop between the two.
Razgrad is a very small walkable city. Coming in by bus only leaves you with about a 20-minute walk to the stadium, perfectly doable and a great chance to start soaking in the surroundings. If planning to stay for the night after the game, there is no better accommodation than Hotel Mimoza, literally sitting back to back with the stadium.
Match Tickets and that Pint Before the Game
As you can imagine, along with the rest of the Bulgarian prices, match tickets are dead cheap. The cheapest category costs just 8 Bulgarian Lev, equivalent to around €4. You can check the whole price table online, although there doesn’t seem an option to purchase tickets online. Tickets can be easily bought from the Ludogorets Ticket Point, just a 7-minute walk away from the stadium.
An excuse to get to the Ludogorets stadium a bit ahead of time is the trucks lined up near the stadium selling that gorgeous looking pint of beer. Also, a very popular snack is some sort of sunflower seeds which are bought from street stalls and eaten all over the place.
Where to Sit at the Ludogorets Stadium?
The two most popular sectors within the Huvepharma arena are those marked as Sector B and Sector V. Sector B is the cheapest one, at 8 Bulgarian Lev (€4) and it’s where the Ultras tend to set themselves up. Sector V is just a tad higher in price at 10 Bulgarian Lev (€5).
Ludogorets FC Fan Shop
Football scarf collector? Alike many other stadiums on matchdays, a Ludogorets FC themed truck will be parked outside the main gate selling all kinds of clothing, accessories and collectables.