Take a look at the eight grounds across Poland and Ukraine
Time Out Dubai staff
Poland National Stadium, Warsaw Capacity: 50,000 Matches: Poland vs. Greece, Poland vs. Russia, Greece vs. Russia, quarter-final, semi-final
Completed in November 2011, the new National Stadium resembles a rippling Polish flag and is built on the site of the old Tenth Anniversary Stadium, which dated back to 1955 and was partly constructed using rubble collected from the site of the Warsaw Uprising. The new structure boasts a retractable PVC roof which unfolds from a spire suspended 30 metres above the centre of the pitch. The first football match played here saw Poland draw 0-0 with Portugal in February this year, and the stadium will again host the Polish national team when they face Greece in the opening match of the summer’s finals.
PGE Arena, Gdańsk Capacity: 40,000 Matches: Spain vs. Italy, Spain vs. Ireland, Croatia vs. Spain, quarter-final
Home to KS Lechia Gdańsk, the PGE Arena is the third largest stadium in the country and its design is intended to resemble amber, which has long been extracted along the Baltic coast. Construction started in 2008 and the stadium was officially opened in July last year, with the first international match, between Poland and Germany, taking place on September 6, 2011 and ending with a 2-2 stalemate. The PGE Arena is set to host four matches during the summer’s tournament, including a quarter-final.
Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw Capacity: 40,000 Matches: Russia vs. Czech Republic, Greece vs. Czech Republic, Czech Republic vs. Poland
Designed to resemble a Chinese lantern, Wroclaw’s Municipal Stadium was officially opened in September 2011, when it hosted the heavyweight boxing title fight between Vitaliy Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek, as well as a concert by George Michael a week later. Home to Polish team WKS Śląsk Wrocław, the stadium hosted its first international match in November last year, when Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini secured a 2-0 victory for Italy against Poland.
City Stadium, Poznań Capacity: 40,000 Matches: Ireland vs. Croatia, Italy vs. Croatia, Italy vs. Ireland
City Stadium is the sixth home of Polish side KKS Lech Poznań since they began their football-playing days on an unremarkable pitch near Grzybowa Street in the south of the city – but the stadium is also used by KS Warta Poznań. Sting, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, performed for the ground’s official opening in September 2010, when City Stadium still held its short-lived title as the country’s largest arena. The stadium hosted its first football match in the same month, when Lech and FC Salzburg met in the UEFA Europa League group stage, with the home side securing a 2-0 win. The first international match at the ground saw Poland beat Ivory Coast 3-1 later that year in November.
Ukraine Olympic Stadium, Kiev Capacity: 60,000 Matches: Ukraine vs. Sweden, Sweden vs. England, Sweden vs. France, quarter-final, final
Dating all the way back to 1923, Ukraine’s largest stadium has held various names over the decades, but the current moniker refers back to the arena’s involvement in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, when it hosted seven games. Its latest facelift for this summer’s tournament was completed in October 2011 and included the reconstruction of the lower tier, a new West Stand and the addition of a new transparent roof. The official opening saw a performance by Shakira, followed by a first international friendly match between Ukraine and Germany that resulted in a 3-3 draw. The stadium is set to host the Euro 2012 final on July 1.
Donbass Arena, Donetsk Capacity: 50,000 Matches: France vs. England, Ukraine vs. France, England vs. Ukraine, quarter-final, semi-final
FC Shakhtar Donetsk owner Rinat Akhmetov ploughed €320million into the Donbass Arena, an ultra-modern stadium located in the centre of the city that features an illuminated exterior, infrared heating system and 54m-high sloping roof – held up by 3,800 tonnes of steel. Officially opened in August 2009 with a concert by American pop star Beyoncé, the first match at the new stadium took place in October, when Shakhtar beat FC Obolon Kyiv 4-0.
Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv Capacity: 35,000 Matches: Netherlands vs. Denmark, Netherlands vs. Germany, Portugal vs. Netherlands
The home of FC Metalist Kharkiv, the Metalist Stadium – or Oblast Sports Complex Metalist, to use its full name – was originally constructed on the site of the Holy Spirit cemetery and was named after the Bolshevik secret police's first director, Dzerzhynets, among various other monikers. Renovations for Euro 2012, funded to the tune of €60million by Metalist owner Olexander Yaroslavskiy, include a new pitch, undersoil heating, completion of the South Stand, a new East Stand and as LED scoreboards.
Arena Lviv, Lviv Capacity: 30,000 Matches: Germany vs. Portugal, Denmark vs. Portugal, Denmark vs. Germany
First opened in October last year with a performance by a total of 2,000 performers joined by American singer Anastacia, Arena Lviv, whose final name has yet to be announced, is home to local team FC Karpaty Lviv and combines traditional and modern elements in its design. The stadium hosted its first football match in November 2011, when Ukraine secured a 2-1 victory against Austria despite being reduced to ten men.