Laugardalsholl Sport Center, also known as Laugardalshollin, is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik.
Travelers can see Laugardalshollin when joining tours in Reykjavik. For example, you can make a quick stop at the arena if you visit nearby attractions such as the Laugardalslaug swimming pool and Reykjavik Zoo using a Reykjavik city card.
As the main indoor arena in Reykjavik, Laugardalsholl is an essential venue for various sporting events, concerts, exhibitions, and conferences in Iceland.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by David Eldur. No edits made.
Location of Laugardalshollin
Laugardalshollin, written as Laugardalshöllin in Icelandic, nestles in the beautiful Laugardalur valley of Reykjavik. This area is accessible by public transport, private vehicles, and pedestrians because it's just two miles (three kilometers) from the city center of the Icelandic capital.
The nearest roads to the sports center are Engjavegur and Sudurlandsbraut.
Physical Features and Facilities of Laugardalsholl Sport Center
Laugardalshollin is one of Iceland's largest indoor arenas and sports centers. It covers a significant land area along with other recreational facilities in the Laugardalur valley, like Iceland's national football stadium, Laugardalsvollur.
Visitors can access multiple halls with different floor areas and capacities inside the arena. The main hall and the athletics hall are the biggest, which are generally for sports. Meanwhile, the remaining halls are smaller in size, mainly for cultural events and conferences.
The arena features a flexible design and modular seating system, accommodating up to 5,500 guests. Depending on the type of event, the arena's seating capacity can be adjusted to accommodate bigger stages and event props.
On the other hand, the entire property and building can hold up to 11,000 guests at a standing capacity.
In addition to its space, Laugardalshollin boasts a modern sound and lighting system with a large video screen that event organizers and audiences can enjoy. It also has a range of production and backstage facilities, including dressing rooms, comfort rooms, and a loading dock.
Most Common Events in the Reykjavik Indoor Arena
Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Janus Bahs Jacquet. No edits made.
As one of the largest and most accessible indoor stadiums in Iceland, Laugardalsholl hosts many types of events and training. With all these activities, as many as 360,000 people visit the arena annually.
The most common activities here are sporting events like basketball, volleyball, handball, and free sports. Athletes and spectators can enjoy these sports games throughout the year with the arena's large floor area.
Additionally, the arena complex is home to several sports clubs and organizations. These groups use the facilities and endurance hall of Laugardalsholl for their athletes' training.
Apart from sports games, this Reykjavik arena is a flagship location for cultural events like concerts, parties, and conferences. Its several halls are flexible for changes in design, seats, and technical services depending on the specific needs of each occasion.
History of Laugardalshollin
Laugardalshollin has a rich history dating back to the 1960s. Before its opening in 1965, the building underwent several challenges in its construction.
Architects Gisli Halldorsson and Skarphedinn Johannsson designed the arena in 1959. The same year, its construction started but was halted due to insufficient funds. It wasn't until 1961 that work for the indoor stadium resumed, but it also stopped multiple times over the years.
Finally, Laugardalshollin finished construction and opened in 1965. The first event in the arena was a handball match between Reykjavik and the Czech Republic in December of the same year.
Over the years, the arena had several renovation projects to upgrade its facilities and accommodate more guests.
Laugardalsholl Sport Center has hosted many historical and iconic events throughout the decades. One of the most prominent events was the World Chess Championship 1972 between chess grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the United States and Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union.
Other notable sporting events hosted by the Icelandic arena include the European Women's Handball Championship in 1970, the World Men's Handball Championship in 1995, and the Esports tournament League of Legends World Championship in 2021.
On the other hand, the attraction is also a premier location for Iceland's most popular concerts, festivals, and cultural events. For example, world-renowned artists and bands like Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Metallica, and David Bowie headlined rock concerts in the area some decades ago.
Icelandic musicians like Bjork also perform in the arena from time to time. Since 2016, Iceland's selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Songvakeppnin, has been held in Laugardalsholl.
Attractions Near the Laugardalsholl
Laugardalsholl can be an excellent base to explore the top attractions of Reykjavik located in the Laugardalur valley and nearby areas.
Just half a mile away is Laugardalslaug, the largest swimming pool in Iceland. Laugardalslaug swimming pool measures 164 feet (50 meters) and features top-rated facilities for thermal bathing and recreational activities.
The facility has geothermal pools, a sauna, jacuzzis, children's pools, water slides, and more amenities you can use when visiting. You can access these excellent facilities and enjoy a relaxing geothermal bath by purchasing this 48-hour Reykjavik city card with entry to museums and geothermal pools.
Another attraction to explore in the area is the lush Reykjavik Botanical Garden, home to a collection of over 5,000 plant species. This open-air green museum features eight sections categorized depending on species and uses, including native shrubs, forest floor plants, and vegetable gardens.