On May 27th Sevilla and FC Dnipro played in the final of this year’s competition in the Europa League at the National Stadium Narodowy in Warsaw.
The National stadium in Poland’s capital is the largest football arena in whole country with a capacity of 58.145 seats. It rests on the very place of the former 10th-Anniversary Stadium, on Aleja Zieleniecka in the Praga Poludnie district, near the city center.
Looked at from the outside, the stadium imitates a bird’s nest, constructed of red and silver plates, in the colors of the national flag. Also, there are a large number of steel columns around the full circumference of the stadium that contribute to the appearance of a nest. Inside, the stands are dominated by the same colors.
However, the main feature of the stadium is its retractable PVC roof above the center of the pitch. The retractable roof is inspired by the cable-supported unfolding system of two stadiums – Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, and BC Place in Vancouver. Elevations are stretched on a powerful construction of pipes, and whole structure is completely independent from the concrete stands and is fundamental to the stadium’s mobility.
The retractable roof does not extend over the entire field. It was made of fiberglass covered with Teflon because these materials are resistant to rain, sun temperature, and can hold up to 18 cm of snow. The roof can only be opened at temperatures above 5 °C and not during rain, and the process takes about 20 minutes.
Below the famous roof is a pitch is equipped to the latest standards. Under the surface layer of the Dutch grass is a system for heating and water sealing. During events that are not football matches, the field is completely covered with special panel that must be removed five days after installation.
The structure is composed of two-level stands – with a top and bottom section. There are 900 seats for media and press, more than 4.600 so-called “premium seats”, designed for special guests, 106 seats for the disabled and more than 800 seats in the VIP section.
Warsaw got its brand new stadium in November 2011 when the three years of construction came to an end, one year before the UEFA European Championship jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine. The official stadium opening took place on 19 January 2012, and the first football match was played on 29 February 2012. The inaugural game between Poland and Portugal ended in a goalless draw.
At the European Championship in 2012 Poland played two matches in the group stage at the Stadium Narodowy . Both matches ended in a 1:1 draw, and the opponents were Greece and Russia. Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski had the honor scoring at such a great stadium during such an important tournament. However, it did not help the Poles, as they finished bottom of group A, with just two points.
An interesting fact is that the largest number of visitors wasn’t recorded at a football game. It happened on 30 August 2014, at the opening of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, which was organized at the National Stadium. Hosts Poland played against Serbia in the opening match, and 61.500 spectators filled the stands. Poland won 3-0 and later went on to win the title of the world champion.
As demonstrated during the FIVB World Championship, the National Stadium is a multi-sports facility that allows for the organization of a number of sporting events, concerts and cultural events. In addition, it also serves as an office, marketplace, hotel, gastronomic point, among other uses. As a result, about 2000 to 3000 people visit the stadium every single day.
The FIVB record wasn’t broken on May 27, even though full capacity turned out towatch a thrilling final between Sevilla and Dnipro.