Euro 2012: Ranking the Stadiums in the Finals

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IApril 4, 2012

Euro 2012: Ranking the Stadiums in the Finals

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    Euro 2012 presents a fantastic opportunity for Poland and Ukraine. After spending decades under a communist regimes, both nations have slowly progressed to become bigger players in Europe both politically and in football.

    Due to each nations' lack of large football grounds, this tournament has allowed Poland and Ukraine to develop large football grounds that could help to advance their respective national programs in the future.

    These stadiums are all amazing and are worthy of hosting this tournament. Here are my rankings of the stadia that will provide a strong legacy for Euro 2012.

No. 8 Metalist Stadium (Kharkiv)

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: Netherlands vs Denmark (June 9), Netherlands vs Germany (June 13) and Portugal vs Netherlands (June 17).

    Year Opened: 1926. With latest renovations: 2009.

    Capacity: 38,633

    Background: It is the oldest stadium that will be in use in Euro 2012, but there are already high hopes for this arena outside of the fact that it will host arguably the biggest group stage match of the tournament: Netherlands vs Germany.

    Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, the owner of Development Construction Holding (DCH), the company that helped to redevelop the stadium, claims the pitch "will be even better than the one in Arsenal's Emirates Stadium"

    Interesting Fact: The Metalist Stadium is sometimes nicknamed 'The Spider Arena' because of the multiple leg-like roof supports surrounding the ground.

No. 7 Arena Lviv

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: Germany vs Portugal (June 9), Denmark vs Portugal (June 13) and Denmark vs Germany (June 17).

    Year Opened: 2011

    Capacity: 34,915

    Background: It is the smallest arena in the competition, but the Arena Lviv is an impressive stadium. It contains a transparent roof that protects fans from the weather and was designed using traditional Ukrainian architecture

    This stadium was also the last stadium to open in Ukraine that will be used in the tournament. 

    Interesting Fact: The opening ceremony on October 29, 2011 featured 2,000 performers—actors, dancers, acrobats and artists—in a theatrical production.

No. 6 Stadion Miejski (Wrocław)

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: Russia vs Czech Republic (June 8), Greece vs Czech Republic (June 12) and Czech Republic vs Poland (June 16).

    Year Opened: 2011

    Capacity: 42,771

    Background: Built with crowd noise in mind, the Stadion Miejski will get to host three group stage matches including the final group stage match for co-host Poland.

    The outside of the stadium contains a fiberglass mesh with teflon that can light up and can reflect different images.

    Interesting Fact: The outside of the stadium was designed to look like a stadium lantern.

No. 5 Stadion Miejski (Poznań)

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    Matches it will host:

    Group Stage: Ireland vs Croatia (June 10), Italy vs Croatia (June 14) and Italy vs Ireland (June 18).

    Year Opened: 1980. With latest renovations: 2010.

    Capacity: 43,269

    Background: The oldest Polish stadium that is in Euro 2012, the Stadion Miejski has been renovated to have sloped stands that will allow for a strong atmosphere.

    This stadium will host three group stage matches, with three of the four sides in Group B playing two matches here.

    Interesting Fact: After Euro 2012, this will be Poland's biggest club grounds.

No. 4 PGE Arena

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: Spain vs Italy (June 10), Spain vs Ireland (June 14) and Croatia vs Ireland (June 18)

    Knockout Stage: winner of Group B vs runner-up of Group A

    Year Opened: 2011

    Capacity: 43,615

    Background: The exclusive stadium of the Spanish national team during the group stage, the PGE Arena is registered by UEFA as a four star stadium and is the most north stadium of the eight stadiums that will be used in the tournament.

    Construction on the arena ran late, which is the primary reason why no roof was installed.

    Interesting Fact: PGE Area’s exterior is designed to resemble amber, which has long been extracted from the Baltic coast.

No. 3 Donbass Arena

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: France vs England (June 11), Ukraine vs France (June 15) and England vs Ukraine (June 19).

    Knockout Stage: winner of Group C vs runner-up Group D (June 23 - quarterfinal) and winner of quarterfinal 1 vs winner of quarterfinal 3 (June 27 - semifinal).

    Year Opened: 2009

    Capacity: 52,518

    Background: The home ground of Shakhtar Donetsk, the Donbass Arena will be the spot where host nation Ukraine will play its final two group stage matches.

    The Donbass Arena has been the home for Shakhtar Donetsk since 2009 and

    Interesting Fact: The soaring roof makes the Stadium resemble a flying saucer, especially when it is lighten at night.

No. 2 National Stadium (Warsaw)

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: Poland vs Greece (June 8), Poland vs Russia (June 12) and Greece vs Russia (June 16).

    Knockout Stage: winner of Group A vs runner-up of Group B (June 21 - quarterfinal) and winner of quarterfinal two vs winner of quarterfinal four (June 26 - semifinal).

    Year Opened: 2012

    Capacity: 58,500

    Background: The last of the eight stadiums to open for the tournament, Warsaw's national stadium was built on the site of the old national stadium, the Stadion Dziesięciolecia. This stadium will also host the opening match of the tournament when Poland faces Greece.

    The retractable roof that the stadium uses is similar to BC Place in Canada and the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt. It takes around 15 minutes to open or close the roof.

    Interesting Fact: The red and white mesh panels on the outside of the stadium are used to mimic the Polish flag.

No. 1 Olympic Stadium (Kiev)

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    Matches it will host: 

    Group Stage: Ukraine vs Sweden (June 11), Sweden vs England (June 15) and Sweden vs France (June 19).

    Knockout Stage: winner of Group D vs runner up of Group C (June 24). Euro 2012 final will be played here on July 1.

    Year Opened: 2011

    Capacity: 70,050

    Background: The second-largest stadium in Eastern Europe, Kiev's Olympic Stadium has been rebuilt after three years of reconstruction.

    The lower tier and west stand have both been completely changed. This stadium will host the match of Group D when Ukraine face Sweden.

    Interesting Fact: A 13-story high rise building has been constructed next to the stadium as part of the renovations.

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