Ukrainian Stadium Is One of Eastern Europe’s Crown Jewels – Bleacher Report
Kyiv, July 17, 2012. Bleacher Report named Donbass Arena stadium one of Eastern Europe’s crown jewels, featuring it on the Power-Ranking of the World Football’s 50 Best Stadiums. In fact, the American sports media network put two Ukrainian football venues on its list, with the second one being Olimpiyskyi Stadium, located in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
Singaporean stadium The Float opens the Power-Ranking by Bleacher Report. It is the only venue in the world equipped with pitch which is surrounded by water. Other venues that made it to the list include Sweden’s most known stadium Rasunda (number 4 on the list), Greek Georgios Karaiskakis (6th position, opened in 1896), Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium (number 33), and Uruguayan Estadio Centenario (number 48) – the only stadium honored by FIFA as a monument of the game.
Ukrainian stadium Donbass Arena takes the 16th spot on the list. “With an ever-improving club hosted by the venue, it is certain to continue to be recognized throughout the world,” writes the author of the Bleacher Report feature, columnist Thomas Atzenhoffer.
The stadium in eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk had a chance to live up to the praise on June 15, 2012. Five minutes into the match between EURO 2012 contestants – French and Ukrainian national teams the referee Bjorn Kuipers took the players off the field due to severe thunderstorm. This is when ultramodern drainage systems helped rapidly dry out the field, allowing to resume the match 57 minutes later.
Donbass Arena is followed on the Bleacher Report list by Russia’s largest stadium Luzhniki. A little further down the line is Kyiv’s Olimpiyskyi Stadium – at number 21. Opened in 1923, it was originally named Red and later – Republican, the venue took its current name from the Summer Olympic Games the stadium hosted in 1980. Renovated in 2011, Olimpiyskyi has been equipped with most recent technological advancements, including fire-resistant seats and largest in Ukraine LED screens.
Notably, both Ukrainian stadiums featured in the Bleacher Report just finished hosting EURO 2012 – the European football championship. Another EURO 2012 host stadium on the Bleacher Report list is the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland. It is ranked number 23. The famous Wembley Stadium in London closes the list.