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THE OLYMPIC STADIUM KIEV REVIEW whilst supporting England

July 25, 2012

The Olympic Stadium is located in city centre Kiev, at the foot of the Cherepanova Hill. Whose capacity is 60’000 though certain literature suggests that the capacity is closer to 70’050. Nonetheless the Olympic Stadium is the second largest in Eastern Europe after Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium but the largest to be used during Euro 2012. The stadium will host the final on 01st June 2012 and four additional matches throughout the competition.

Approaching the Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine

Outside before Sweden v England, Euro 2012

The stadium has undergone major transformation since it opened in August 1923 under the name of Red Stadium of Leon Trotsky. The ground later played host to the summer Olympics in 1980 and was renamed after Ukrainian independence in 1991, the stadium was later given national status in 1996 and renamed again as the Olympic National Sports Complex.

Further developments have been made in preparation for Euro 2012 and the stadium is thus unrecognisable since its initial design and construction. The whole stadia comprises of two tiers; the lower tier and west stand being demolished and re built, with the west stand now housing a two-level press box and further luxury boxes between the two tiers. A state of the art athletics track now surrounds the pitch and the whole seating area is now covered by a semi transparent roof which is unique in design, and of course no new super stadia would be complete without a swanky hotel to boast. The rejuvenated complex was re opened in October 2011 with a concert by Shakira, and the first international football match was played a month later in a thrilling 3-3 draw between the Ukraine and Germany.

The roof of the Olympic Stadium The Olympic stadium is very accessible being located in the city centre but has no general car park and as a result the area around the stadium does get extremely busy on match/ event days. Park and ride buses were laid on during Euro 2012 and will no doubt continue on match/ event days after the tournament. Moreover, the Olympic Stadium has 145 seats for disabled fans and a further 150 accessible parking spaces, but during the Euro 2012 tournament these were only available if you booked in advance with UEFA.

The roof of the Olympic Stadium

The roof of the Olympic Stadium

During Euro 2012, in particularly the Sweden v England mach played on 15.06.2011 access to the stadium included a routine ticket and security check before entering the vicinity around the ground. Stadium entry required tickets scanning at turnstiles similar to that used at many Premiership grounds in England.  Patrons enter the ground on the concourse separating the two tiers where you are free to travel around the ground. Lifts are situated around the ground assisting access to the upper tier. Catering is provided within the ground though exceptional queues raised questions whether more could be done to accommodate demand on match/ event days.

Throughout the Euro 2012 tournament all stadia were open two hours before kickoff enabling easy access. On writing this article one would expect such a policy to continue after the tournament when the stadium becomes the new home of Dynamo Kiev.

Just before Kick Off, England vs Sweden at the Olympic Stadium, Kiev - Euro 2012

Just before Kick Off, England vs Sweden at the Olympic Stadium, Kiev – Euro 2012

Most will agree that an athletics track around a pitch has a detrimental effect on the atmosphere within the ground. In addition many tickets for Euro 2012 were sold with restrict views, possible causes of this were television camera booms behind the goals and the size of the advertising hoardings that eliminated the vast majority of the six yard box and corner areas if sat directly behind the goals. However, the experience although totally different compared to that enjoyed at a traditional football grounds was unique and that made the whole experience of the ground and match memorable in its own right especially as segregation was limited and Sweden had many more supporters than England on the night.



From → Football Stadia

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