All you need to know about the 12 venues of Euro 2020 (part 1)

In 2014, UEFA have allocated fixtures in 13 cities across Europe. However, Brussels later withdrawn their staging participation when a stadium construction lacked support from local authorities. The four games in Brussels were allocated to Wembley Stadium in London. Held every four years, Euro is considered the most popular football tournament next to the World Cup in terms of international prestige.

The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup were initially scheduled to be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), St. Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam (Holland)

Matches to be staged in this arena are: Netherlands v Ukraine; Netherlands v Austria; Play-off winner D (A) v Netherlands; Round of 16: 2A v 2B. Previously known as Amsterdam Arena, Johan Cruijff Arena was renamed in 2018 to honour Ajax’s former player and coach, who was born in Amsterdam and passed away in March 2016. The stadium was built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost equivalent to €140 million.

The stadium can hold 54,990 people during football matches, while a maximum of 68,000 people during concerts if a centre-stage setup is used, the largest in the country. The1998 Champions League and 2013 Europa League finals was held in this stadium and it was one of the venues used in Euro 2000. It is currently the home stadium of AFC Ajax in the Eredivisie.

Olympic Stadium, Baku (Azerbaijan)

Matches to be staged in this arena are: Wales v Switzerland; Turkey v Wales; Switzerland v Turkey; Quarter-final: W40 v W38. Baku is the capital city of Azerbaijan and they boast a 68,700-seat stadium called Baku Olympic Stadium. This six-storey stadium was the venue for the 2019 UEFA Europa League final, in which Chelsea beat London rivals Arsenal. It is the home of the Azerbaijan national team.

This 225,000-square-meter stadium on a 650,000-square-meter site is one of the youngest stadiums to be used in the tournament as it was completed just in February 2015. Although named after the Olympics, Baku Olympic Stadium is yet to host the Olympics. However, the design of the stadium is based on Olympic blueprints that hold multi-purpose events. 

San MamésBilbao (Spain)

Matches to be staged in this arena are: Spain v Sweden; Spain v Poland; Play-off winner B v Spain; Round of 16: 1B v 3A/D/E/F. Bibao is the the tenth-biggest city in Spain, and the largest in the Basque region that offers rich culture and arts. San Mamés stadium was inaugurated in 2013 and currently the home of La Liga side, Athletic Bilbao.

Along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, the club is the founding members of the Spanish top-flight that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929. It is one reason why they were given the 8th-largest stadium in Spain and the largest in the Basque Country. It was once used as a makeshift venue for the 2015 Copa del Rey Final for fans who could not attend the game in Barcelona.

Arena NationalaBucharest (Romania)

Matches to be staged in this arena are: Austria v Play-off winner D (A); Ukraine v Play-off winner D (A); Ukraine v Austria; Round of 16: 1F v 3A/B/C. Arena Nationala or The National Arena Bucharest, which opened in 2011, stands on the site of the old National Stadium. The revamped national stadium has 55,634 seats and the largest football stadium in Romania.

It hosted the 2012 UEFA Europa League final, where AtléticoMadrid beat Bilbao’s Athletic Club 3-0. The stadium is also the home of Liga I football clubs FCSB and Dinamo București. It also hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match between Romania and Netherlands, which brought 53,329 people to the stadium, the highest football audience the stadium achieved.