Euro 2012 and Stadiums

Being a massive football fan, the European Championships is always a very exciting time and with wall to wall football for the next couple of weeks, I am set! With most of the focus on the pitch, people sometimes forget there is plenty to look at off the field.

Stadiums are exciting and electrifying places that bring thousands of people together and I have always been fascinated by them and the way they work and look.

When a new tournament comes to town there are always newly refurbished or newly built stadiums and Poland and Ukraine are no different. There are 8 host venues all together, 4 in each country.

Only 3 of the 8 venues existed before the tournament was awarded to Poland and Ukraine. These are the impressive but lopsided Municipal Stadium in Poznan, the refurbished Olympic stadium in Kyiv and the Metalist Stadium in Kahrkiv.

Newly refurbished Kyiv Olympic stadium courtesy of UEFA.com

The other 5 venues all were new builds varying in size, shape and look. They try to create a visual identity for the towns in which they are located, as stadiums are in many ways the icons of these towns.  The spectacle of the sport on the pitch would not be as great without the architecture that surrounds it: these stadiums are the stage on which some great moments are created.

Arena Gdansk supposedly resembles amber which is extracted on the Baltic coast
Donbass Arena in Donesk Ukraine Courtesy of UEFA.com

Over the next 3 weeks, these stadiums will be the focus of Europe if not most of the world and for the architects who designed them they must take great pride in seeing their work enjoyed and broadcast on such a big stage.

A problem with hosting these tournaments and huge events for the countries involved, as London may find in a couple of months time, is what happens when the football is over. Are the clubs that play in the stadiums able to sustain their futures in a viable venue? Only time will tell.

For more information on all of the venues please see:

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/hostcountries/index.html