Yesterday, Warsaw National Stadium officially opened, the last in a row of eight playing venues for the upcoming European Championships. No football was played though, as was chosen for a series of concerts by Polish rock bands such as Zakopower, T.Love, and
Lady Gaga Lady Pank. Celebrations were concluded with spectacular fireworks, making for nice pictures from the other side of the Vistula river.
A huge success according to the stadium’s official website, which lists the 75,000 people that weathered the cold to attend the event as proof. Local tabloid Fakt however could not help criticizing the fact that people weren’t allowed to bring quality cameras, and also noticed the enormous lines that had formed in front of the toilets.
Stadion Narodowy w Warszawie is Poland’s flagship stadium for Euro 2012, being the largest of the four Polish venues with a capacity of 58,145 seats, and hence hosting the opening match between Poland and Greece and one of the semi-finals.
Construction of the stadium, which started in October 2008, proved to be a turbulent affair, with the works being plagued by delays and three workers dieing in separate accidents on the site.
The result however is a real beauty on the eye, with its facade of red and white squares, standing majestically on the banks of the Vistula river.
The stadium will see its first football played in two weeks when league champions Wisla Krakow and Cup winners Legia Warsaw meet in the Polish Super Cup match, a match which has been postponed from its standard fixture in August to celebrate the new stadium’s inauguration.
A few weeks later the Polish and Portuguese national teams will meet in a friendly in preparation of Euro 2012. The stadium will also be used as a regular concert venue, with tickets for a Coldplay gig in September already being advertised on the stadium’s website.