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The story behind the Arena Lviv Experience – Denmark V Germany, Euro 18-07-2012

July 27, 2012

Arena Liviv is a new stadium developed for Euro 2012 and situated approximately 8 kilometres (20 minute taxi ride) to the south of the city and is the new home for FC Karpaty Lviv. Construction started in November 2008 with a budget of €70.4 and was officially opened on 10 December 2011 with a vast theatrical production dedicated to the history of the city of Lviv. The stadium enjoyed its first taste of international football between Ukraine and Austria, resulting in a 2–1 to the Ukraine.

Close up of Lviv Arena

Close up of Lviv Arena

Approach Arena Lviv My first visit to the ground was during the sweltering heat of day to collect my ticket for that evening’s game between Germany and Denmark. I wasn’t impressed by the ground, the whole complex could have been designed much more stylish and impressive had more thought been applied. It resembled a box in a huge unfinished car park (4’500 vehicle capacity) that had a long giant ramp to one side which would have been a nightmare to those in a wheel chair and a huge ‘media centre’ along the main stand. The stadium itself had bazaar lines across it that looked like a poor attempt at replicating the Birds nest stadium in Beijing. Such lines did actually illuminate in different colours in the evening. On a plus note, the ground is literally next to a motorway and a short distances walk from an out of town shopping centre which combined offered plenty of car/ coach parking and easy access away from Lviv itself.

On returning to the stadium that evening for the game there were plenty of shuttle buses to and from the stadium though organisation of the bus pick up points could have been handled and arrange much more professionally in order to avoid a accident and a mad scramble for transport.

Approach Arena Lviv

Approach Arena Lviv

The stadium itself is extremely traditional in design and has no great running track around it like the Olympic stadium in Kviv. The complex was extremely practical in its layout, comprising of two tiers which generated an enjoyable atmosphere. The large ramp provided access to the central concourse for spectators and motorised service and emergency transport.

Close up of Lviv Arena The ground is all seater and visibility is extremely good a feature heavily promoted in tournament and stadia literature, though TV cameras situated within the main stand did obstruct the view of the pitch for some.

A major criticism of the ground is its capacity, approximately 30’000! How come such an ‘intimate’ ground was being used for such a high profile competition? Yes, previous Euro tournaments utilised modest size stadia during the group stages of tournaments but none were this small! A more long term view would be – can FC Karpaty Lviv fill the ground once it becomes their home after the finals? A team most will have never heard of at the time of writing. The ground itself plays host to three group games form group B of the Euro 2012 competition.

Non alcoholic beer was offered by stadium staff that patrolled the seating area of the stadium, a scene similar to many event stadia used across the USA and a good touch provided that the beer was not flat and those offering the service did not stand in your way whilst serving their customers.

Further stadia research revealed that during Euro 2012 matches and other large events patrons can enjoy 19 fast food restaurants, located on the concourse of the stadium and seven fast food restaurants in the outer perimeter of the stadium – employing a total of 300 hospitality staff on event days.

The media centre (the arena’s western stand) housed a five story administrative building offering 522 seats for media representatives and 104 for the disabled throughout the tournament. In addition there were rooms for players and coaches, conference room, area for VIP persons, premises for the organizers of the championship, as well as many commercial areas. The ground also held a restaurant for up to 700 guests.

The stadium though basic serves the needs of its visitors on a match day – a concrete structure offering little in the name of spirit, charm or inspiration when approaching or walking around the ground. Though a true atmospheric experience was generated and was extremely enjoyable within the confines of the ground, it’s a shame that the ground was not larger to capitalise on this. To simply surmise, practical though not inspirational

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From → Football Stadia

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