On April 18, 2007, the head of UEFA, Michel Platini mentioned Poland and Ukraine as the hosts of the European Championships in football to be held in 2012. Below we present the current status of works concerning major facilities being prepared for Euro 2012. We mean stadiums.
Three years ago euphoria broke out in Poland when Michel Platini took out from an envelope a card with the words “Poland and Ukraine.” The joy in Poland, resulting from granting such a prestigious event did quickly turned into fear. Questions “whether Poland will manage to prepare everything for Euro 2012 on time?” went hand in hand with the voices of “eurosceptics” who argued that we would not have managed to prepare an adequate infrastructure.
The voices doubting that Poland would bear the burden of preparations for the championships have practically disappeared after the start of construction of stadiums, prepared specially for the championships. Arenas constructed very quickly, subsequent resolved tenders and voices of the UEFA representative ensuring that in Poland all works run in a satisfactory way, resulted in a change in the attitude of Poles to organize the tournament. And the question “whether Poland will manage to prepare everything for Euro 2012 on time?” was replaced with the question “how will Poland organize Euro 2012?”.
The construction works of the stadiums, on which Polish part of Euro 2012 will be held, are very advanced. Despite delays, which were caused mainly by the winter, there is no danger that Poland “will not manage to prepare everything on time”. The first stadium ready for Euro 2012 will be the facility in Poznan, where all stands should be ready in the holidays. The next opened stadium will be situated in Gdańsk, which is supposed to be given into use at the beginning of the next year. With several months of delays the facility in Wrocław would invite first fans in June 2011, that is one year before the main event. The latest opened stadium will be the National Stadium – the largest Polish stadium being built for Euro 2012, whose solemn opening is planned for September next year.
The main Polish arena of Euro 2012 is being prepared from hour to hour. Every day, nearly 1.5 thousand employees working on the construction of National Stadium make the facility look like a football arena. The National Stadium builders struggled with the very unfavorable winter time, which significantly hampered the works or even made them impossible to carry out. Low temperature persisting for several weeks has a bit disturbed the schedule.
Despite these problems, a huge building reaches the eighth floor. At the two lowest floors of the stadium, where an underground parking is to be located, finishing works are now being carried out. The sections of the upper part of the stadium, situated above the future playing field, are now in different degrees of advancement. The lower section of future tribunes is covered with treads to which seats will be mounted.
On the upper floors works have been going very intensively. Entering almost non-stop on the area of the construction site structural elements of the upper floor are installed on their places directly from the truck. Thanks to the applied technique the stadium, made of prefabricated elements is being constructed quickly.
However, the most spectacular works are to come. Indeed, works concerning the preparation of the installation of a steel structure of the roof are reaching the end. Installation of the first pillars on which the roof will rest, with an area of 5 ha and a characteristic facade of the stadium, are expected to start by the end of April.
Along with the construction works, which are the most visible ones, also finishing works and water and sewage, ventilation, and electrical systems are carried out. The construction management decided that the construction works are carried out now seven days a week on the basis of three shifts. The procedure of selecting suppliers of telecommunications network for the National Stadium in Warsaw has also been initiated.
The construction of the stadium, which is being built very quickly and whose pick will reach the point at the hundredth meter, is currently halfway point.
The visualization of the National Stadium in Warsaw. It’s the biggest facility for Euro 2012. The opening match, one quarterfinal match and one semifinal are envisaged to be held at the National Stadium.
The designer of the National Stadium is JSK Architekci Ltd., GMP International GmbH and SBP GMBH (Bergermann Schlaich Und Partner). The facade of the National Stadium refers to Polish national colors, which recall the waving white-red flag. Here, the most important matches are to be played by the Polish national team.
The Football Stadium in Gdansk, which is to have the name PGE Arena Gdańsk, is the most north forwarded facility for Euro 2012. The arena, from which from the upper floors the Gulf of Gdańsk will be visible, reaches in some places up to 45 metres. The construction of the Gdansk stadium has not been hampered by the winter, which at the sea was not so severe as in the case of the rest of the country.
The construction of the upper part of the stadium is built in two ways – the floors of successive floors are laid and most of the vertical parts of the structure is prepared from ready prefabricated elements arriving at the construction site. Much more advanced is the construction of the western part of the arena for Euro 2012 in Gdansk, which has already been finished. The construction of its upper floor is almost completely ready. On the half part of the upper ring of the structure almost all treads are already prepared. A characteristic “wave” is visible and thanks to it the current state of the facility resembles the stadium presented in visualizations.
At the beginning of April at the construction site of the Gdansk stadium the next stage, which is the installation of steel shell structure of the stadium has started. Installation of powerful, 30-tone frames, on which a characteristic amber facade and the roof covering the stadium will be set, is expected to last until the end of July. After completion of the installation, finishing works will be carried out and at the beginning of the next year the stadium should be ready for use.
The stadium is supposed to be one of the arenas for Euro 2012. During the championships there will be played three group meetings and one quarterfinal match. The arena in Gdansk was constructed in accordance with all EUFA requirements.
The stadium will be located in the Letnica district. The facade of the facility is to be covered with tiles in various shades of brown, which are supposed to resemble amber. The architectural concept was prepared by the German office Rhode-Kellermann-Wawrowsky from Düsseldorf, which designed facilities such as Veltins-Arena stadium in Gelsenkirchen and AWD-Arena in Hanover.
Stadion Miejski in Poznan will be ready for use as the first Polish arena for Euro 2012. Last works concerning the installation of the steel frame of the roof construction, which weighs up to 7 thousand tons are almost completed. Along with the installation of last frame the installation of special membranes, which will create a roof and elevation of the future stadium is being prepared. The installation of the constructions for telebims, which are to hang under the roof has also started.
Below the roof tribunes are being prepared. Their progress is not too spectacular, since most of the works are finishing works and installation inside the built stands; also first windows in boxes for VIPs are mounted. The chairs, most awaited by fans will appear at the stadium at Bułgarska street as early as next month.
In spite of the carried out works the stadium hosts players and fans, who now occupy two tribunes located behind the goals. Thanks to this, the fans of the Poznań Lech coming to matches of “Kolejarz” can see the progress of the works.
The investment in Wroclaw is currently least advanced among the facilities of all Polish stadiums being prepared for Euro 2012. The reason of several months of delay was not only the severe winter, but also arguments with the former contractor of the facility, who could not cope with meeting the original schedule. The difficult decision concerning break of the contract with the former contractor has already been supported by the Supreme Chamber of Control, which showed that the corporation Euro 2010 Wrocław supervising the preparations had acted rightly.
The new general contractor has started works at the beginning of March. At present, the works are carried out on the whole construction and a new contractor has started work on the basis of two shifts. A group of more than 300 workers work at the construction site. From day to day more and more elements to build the facility in Wrocław is arriving. The main contractor signs new contracts with subcontractors for the next stages of the works.
Currently, the construction of Wroclaw arena for Euro 2012 is at the height of the second floor in places, both with regard to the stadium and a powerful one-storey car park, which is a part of the investment in Wroclaw. In addition to concerning the floors, installation, electric and sewage works are being prepared.
Thanks to the resumptions of the works, a dynamic growth of the facility will be visible in closest weeks. Ready elements of the higher levels, which are delivered to the construction site, will cause a substantial acceleration. The new general contractor ensures that the stadium will be opened in the middle of the next year, that is a year before the start of Euro 2012.
In Ukraine, the turmoil related to Euro 2012 becomes more and more alarming. The UEFA, quiet until now, which so far has toned down the problems of impatient media warned Ukraine and gave it a “yellow card”. The head of UEFA, Michel Platini said that the matter of the construction of stadiums in Lviv, and above all in Kiev, concerns very much the authorities of the European football.
These stadiums are still under construction. The statement “building” even by some Ukrainians is an abuse. The authorities themselves admit that on the Olympic Stadium in Kiev there is chaos, and the construction equipment is very old. The same situation is in the case of Lviv. The facility, whose construction started more than a year ago, is completed in less than 10 percent. Both in Lviv and Kiev there are also financial problems in the execution of the investment project. An additional factor that more problems is the political situation. The new president, big changes in the government and the political games make the construction, supervised by the state, experience big problems that “resulted in” the change in the contractor of the stadium in Lviv. Ukrainians, however, repeat the words that “they accelerate slowly but when they start, the acceleration will be great.” The problem is that we have already heard similar words for 2 years.
The remaining two stadiums in Ukraine, which are to host the tournament – Donbass Arena in Donetsk and the stadium in Kharkov were opened last year.