Less than a year is left till the European Cup of Nations Euro 2012 – the 14th European Championship for national football teams sanctioned by UEFA. The host countries, Ukraine and Poland, are in their last stage of stadium preparations. 5 games of the cup including the final match will be hosted in the National Sport Complex “Olimpiyskiy” in Kyiv, Ukraine. The sport complex’s stadium, built in 1923, has been through many reconstruction processes and name changes during its life span.
The most recent renovations started in August 2008; the old sport complex had to be adjusted for the needs and requirements of the upcoming football cup according to the UEFA regulations. A complete redesign was put by German architecture bureau GMP, which created updates to the similar to the Olimpiashtadionu stadium in Berlin.
Along with general modernization to the Olimpiyskyi Stadium in Kyiv, the design featured transparent roof coverage for the seating area made of a special tent covering membrane. This way 100% of seats and partly the field are protected from unpleasant weather conditions. Stadium capacity decreased from 83, 450 seats to 70, 050 due to expansion of the circulation areas between sectors, new VIP boxes, zones for media and commentators, adjustments for people with disabilities. Furthermore the inclination degree of lower sectors was increased by 15 % to maximize the view for the visitors. On the higher level sectors, an additional passage was built for the ease of exiting the stadium. The cost of construction was around $580 million. After the reconstruction, NSC “Olimpiyskiy” kept its multi-functionality – the stadium is ready to host both international football games and athletics competitions. By the time of the opening of the Euro Cup, a new 5 star Sheraton Kiev Olympiysky Hotel will be ready for service right next to the stadium delivering the comfort of nearby accommodation to football fans.
The first football match to be played on the new stadium will take place on 11th of November 2011 (Ukraine vs. Germany); in Euro2012 the stadium will host three group matches, one quarterfinal and the final one on the 1st of July 2012. Meanwhile on the 8th of October 2011 National Sport Complex “Olimpiyskiy” was welcoming its first guests for the official opening (more than 60, 000 people took part in the event) with a big performance connecting traditional Ukraine (dances, costumes, history and much more) with modern component – Shakira’s performance.