Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Stadiums of Kiev

"If there is no Kiev, then no Ukraine," Platini said, before backtracking slightly. Explaining that Kiev's "difficulties" were in part due to an unusually harsh winter, he added, "I think Kiev will be all right in the end."

The Olimpiysky National Sports Complex was due to open on June 22nd 1941. Among its first visitors were the Luftwaffe, who launched their bombing campaign on Kiev the very same day. Rebuilt for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, when it was used as a venue for football matches, it still held 100,000 people when I saw Dynamo Kiev play Newcastle United there in 1997. Scheduled to host six games during Euro 2012, including the final, it currently looks like this:

What's that Platini fella worried about?

At the other end of Khreschatyk, between the Dnepr River and Independence Square, the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium (or the Стадіон «Динамо» імені Валерія Лобановського if you're into that sort of thing) has a capacity of just under 17,000, which meant all the big Dynamo games took place at the Olympic Stadium until redevelopment work started there in 2008.

Floodlights from St Sophia's Cathedral.

The closest thing you get to a free view of the pitch.

Not the main entrance.

Next game: Metalurh Zaporizhya.

Here's one ground I did get to see a game at, the 5,000 capacity Obolon Stadium - located in a housing estate north of the city centre:

No comments:

Post a Comment