Euro 2012 stadiums get ready to kick-off the party
Venues in Poland and Ukraine all set after 5 year construction push
Eight stadiums across Poland and Ukraine are preparing to host the opening matches of the quadrennial European Football Championship (Euro 2012), which begins Friday, following a five year construction push to bring the stadiums up to Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) standards.
The joint bid to host the championships was approved by UEFA in April 2007 and since then both countries have completed a stadium development programme of the eight venues chosen.
Six of the eight venues are brand new stadiums: National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland; PGE Arena in Gdansk, Poland; Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland; Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine; Donabass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine; and Arena Lviv in Lviv, Ukraine.
The remaining two stadiums – Municipal Stadium in Poznań and Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv -- have undergone major renovations to improve them.
The National Stadium in Warsaw will host the opening ceremony and opening game of the tournament Friday with co-hosts Poland taking on 2004 winners, Greece.
The 58,500 stadium (reduced to 50,000 due to UEFA restrictions during the tournament), cost $624.4m to build, with Schlaich Bergermann and Partner acting as the structural engineer.
The Euro 2012 final will be held in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Sunday 1st July.
The 70,050 seater stadium closed in 2008 in order to rebuilt for the tournament, reopening in 2011 after a $500-$550 million reconstruction carried out general contractor Kyivmiskbud.
Three of the stadiums fulfill the criteria of UEFA's highest category stadiums while the rest qualify in lower categories.
To view a picture gallery of all the Euro 2012 stadiums, click here.