Nearly 1.3 million visitors watched the group and quarter final matches of EURO 2012. The stadiums of the championship co-hosts Poland and Ukraine saw the combined number of 1,274,186 football fans over the fortnight. According to the tournament director in Ukraine Markian Lubkivskyi, the average attendance at the stadiums reached 98 percent.
European football championship first attracted over a million of viewers in 1996, when matches in the UK were visited by over 1.27 million people. This number used to be the highest attendance figure for EURO until 2012.
One may indicate a significant turnout increase over the history of the tournament, as the first UEFA European football championship, held in 1960 in France, unfolded in front of the eyes of almost 79,000 fans. EURO 2004 in Portugal was witnessed by nearly 1.16 million people, while the latest EURO 2008, co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland, drew in 1.14 million football lovers, reports Champion.com.ua.
The remaining three EURO 2012 matches will take place at the tournament’s largest arenas – the National Stadium in Warsaw (capacity – over 58 thousand), Donbass Arena in Donetsk (over 50 thousand capacity), and Kyiv’s NSK Olimpiyskyi (70 thousand)*. It is expected that the total audience of EURO 2012 will reach 1.4 million people.
Notably, Ukraine prepared four stadiums for the European Football Championship – the National Sports Complex Olimpiyskyi in Kyiv (will host EURO 2012 final), Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Arena Lviv in Lviv, and Metalist Stadium (nicknamed Spider) in Kharkiv. As a result of renovation, Olimpiyskyi became the second largest stadium in Eastern Europe capable of hosting up to 70,050 guests. Stadium in Lviv was built specially for the championship.
According to UEFA, EURO 2012 fan zones in the eight host cities also experienced notable turnout. The attendance leader among the eight fan zones is the one in Kyiv – as of June 20th, 1.19 million football fans visited the area since its opening. Reportedly, the largest and loudest EURO 2012 fan zone at Warsaw’s Plac Defilad was attended by 820 thousand fans.
Total fan zone attendance as of June 20th equals 4.241 million, with Polish fan zones attracting almost 1.8 million visitors and Ukrainian – nearly 2.5 million.
*Numbers according to the official websites of the venues.