For some SPA was important, for others it was a golf course and a private beach.
All of them wanted luxury hotels and even pitches. What were the national football teams driven by when choosing residential bases for Euro 2012
UEFA announced the official list of centres in October this year. It included 21 offers from Poland and 17 offers from Ukraine.
For the last twelve months, representatives of football teams taking part in Euro 2012 have been traveling around Poland and Ukraine in search of places where footballers could stay and train during the tournament. Poland was visited by representatives of 20 countries.
Tomasz Szulc, the manager of Euro UEFA 2012 Polska responsible for organization of the tournament in Poland said, “In total over 50 visits have taken place because many federations came to Poland more than once.”
The following three criteria were the most important for the couching staff:
– the standard of the hotel and its facilities, including SPA quality;
– the quality of the grass at the training pitch;
– the distance between the base and the airport.
Sometimes the representations had some additional needs, such as a field in the near distance or a private beach. A major requirement was a distance from the hotel to the training field. Some coaches wanted to have them nearby, however, some did not so that the football players did not have to look at the turf 24h a day.
The climate of Cracow decided about the choice of the English men. They came to Cracow after visiting many other centres in Poland. It made such a big impression on them that although both of the Cracow centres from the catalogues were already occupied (The Netherlands – stadion Wisły, Italy – Cracovia), they asked to find them something. In this way they found themselves in a rundown stadion Hutnika which is being renovated thanks to this situation. The Dutch people were interested in the cuisine and its chef.
They reserved the entire sixth floor and a part of the fifth – 50 rooms in total. There were no comments, apart from some doubts in regards to the board. In the end they decided to trust our chef, who they will provide with a menu’ says Renata Sobczyńska, Communications Director of Zdrojowa Invest which is the owner of hotel Marina in Kołobrzeg where the Danes will be staying.
The national football teams will spend only several days in the cities where the matches will be held. Most of their time will be spent at accommodation centres chosen by particular teams. A team is expected to arrive at such a facility 5 days before the first game, at the latest. That means the teams that will make it to the final will spend up to a month in the centre of their choice, excepting the times when they will be playing matches. The teams will be expected to arrive at the city where the match is held 24 hours prior, in order to participate in training on the training ground. Therefore they will be spending the night at a transfer hotel, unless their accommodation centre is less than 60 km away from the stadium.
Accomodation base is something special for fans, because at least one official training of each team must be open to public. Everyone will be able to come and watch the best players in the world in action.
– The president Platini’s idea is to make people feel the atmosphere of the championships – explains Schultz.
During Euro 2008 the training of Portugal team in Neuchatel was watched by 12 thousand fans. Some teams, like Germany, is organizing short meetings with fans, during which players give autographs.
Cities in which teams will stay will have financial benefits. They will come with journalists, fans and celebrities. They all need to stay somewhere.
What is also priceless is the promotional effect. The place of residence will be known in the media and people who visit them will become a living advertisement.
– This is an excellent form of promotion in the Nordic market in our case. When Danes decided to stay at our hotel, information about it appeared soon in all the Danish media. More than ever before. We already receive calls from journalists and fans from Denmark, who want to stay at the Marina hotel or in the vicinity of our other Sand hotel – explains Sobczyńska.