Zetra Olympic Hall, Sarajevo

Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall
Location Alipašina, Koševo, Centar, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates 43°52′18.5″N 18°24′34.4″E / 43.871806°N 18.409556°E / 43.871806; 18.409556Coordinates: 43°52′18.5″N 18°24′34.4″E / 43.871806°N 18.409556°E / 43.871806; 18.409556
Owner Sarajevo Canton
Operator ZOI '84 organization
Capacity 12,000 (18,000 for concerts)
Surface Versatile
Opened 1983
Renovated 1999
Construction cost 16.4 million (1999. renovation)
KK Bosna (2009-)
RK Bosna Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina national basketball team
Bosnia and Herzegovina national handball team
Bosnia and Herzegovina national futsal team
Bosnia and Herzegovina national ice hockey team

Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian: Olimpijska dvorana Juan Antonio Samaranch / Олимпијска дворана Хуан Антонио Самаран; formerly Zetra Olympic Hall[1]) is an indoor multi-purpose arena in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Named in honor of Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2010 after his death, it was used for various sporting events at the 1984 Winter Olympics, and will be the main venue of the 2019 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.


Olympic venue

Zetra Olympic Hall was constructed specifically for the 1984 Winter Olympics, hosted in Sarajevo, and was completed in 1983. Its first major event was the 1983 World Junior Speed Skating Championships. It was described as an "ultramodern, angular edifice"[2] with a copper roof. The indoor venue hosted ice hockey and figure skating events, as well as the last closing ceremony held in an indoor place until Vancouver 2010.[3][4][5]

From 1984 to 1991, Zetra remained in service as a venue for ice sports. It served as the venue for several international speed skating events, and several speed skating world records were broken here.


The arena suffered substantial damage and was completely destroyed by shelling, bombing and fire by the Serb forces on Monday, May 25, 1992 during the Bosnian War.[6] The remaining areas of the structure, such as the basements, were put into service as a morgue[7][8] and as storage space for medication and supplies.[9][10] The wooden seats from the venue were used as material for coffins for civilians killed in the war.[11][12]


After the war, it was discovered that though the building was badly damaged, the foundation was secure. Although the original blueprints were never recovered, in September 1997, reconstruction on the venue, facilitated by the SFOR, began. The International Olympic Committee donated $US 11.5 million to the project,[9] which cost an estimated DM 32 million ( 16.4 million).[7] The reconstruction was completed in 1999.

Current use

A graveyard has been established in what was once part of the Olympic Sports Complex in Sarajevo for the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Zetra hosted the Balkans Stability Pact Summit in July 1999.[13] It is currently in service as a sporting arena.[3] It is also used for music concerts, fairs and conferences. Sometimes, parts of the building are rented for other purposes (e.g. for the elections 2014, it was used as the Main Counting Center and election material storage space). The hall also contains a small museum about the 1984 Winter Olympics as well as a gym, billiard hall, bowling avenue, pistol range, two cafes and other sports related content such as headquarters for various clubs and associations.[14]

Concerts and shows






  1. http://www.sportsfeatures.com/olympicsnews/story/47010/sarajevo-olympic-hall-renamed-after-juan-antonio-samaranch
  2. "Now Bring On The Torch" Bob Ottum, Sports Illustrated, March 14, 1983
  3. 1 2 ZOI '84 OCS
  4. "A little touch of Heaven" B.J. Phillips, Time, February 27, 1984
  5. 1984 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 71-2, 87-88, 105-8.
  6. "The Killing Ground" William Oscar Johnson, Sports Illustrated, February 14, 1994
  7. 1 2 "Zetra returns to the future" David Taylor, SFOR Informer #57, March 17, 1999
  8. "1984: Sarajevo" Bonnie DeSimone, New York Times, February 5, 2006
  9. 1 2 "Sarajevo 2010? Collateral Damage" Sports Illustrated, April 9, 1999
  10. "Guns Now, Butter Later" James L. Graff, Time, July 20, 1992
  11. "TV SPORTS; Goodwill Games Headed for Bosnia?" Richard Sandomir, New York Times, July 7, 1999
  12. "Sarajevo's Olympic Seats Are Now Coffin Boards" Mark Milstein, London Observer news service, August 5, 1993
  13. Balkans Stability Pact Summit David Taylor, SFOR Informer, July 28, 1999
  14. Roberts, Patrick (14 January 2011). "Side Order: In Sarajevo, a small museum with an Olympian message". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
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