Plans are well underway and excitement is building as Cardiff gets ready to host the world’s biggest sporting event of 2017.
The countdown is on to Saturday, June 3 when the UEFA Champions League (UCL) Final, the world’s most watched annual sporting event, will be contested at the National Stadium of Wales (the Principality Stadium has been renamed for the event).
As the tournament reaches its final stages and the best teams in Europe battle it out on the pitch for the chance to play in Cardiff, preparations are in full flow to ensure the 2017 Finals are the best to date.
A series of events have been organised to give people the chance to get involved and experience the atmosphere in the host city, even if they aren’t lucky enough to have a ticket to the match.
The UEFA Champions Festival kicks off at Cardiff Bay on Thursday, June 1 with over 200,000 people expected to attend the four-day free event that runs through until Sunday, June 4. There will be lots to see and do on each day of the festival including the opportunity to have your photograph taken for free with the UEFA Champions League Trophy.
The Fans’ Festival will have live entertainment, a football museum known as the UEFA Champions Gallery, a five-a-side pitch which can be used by community groups, and the official UCL Final 2017 megastore. It promises to be a sure draw for all those wanting to soak up the excitement surrounding the finals and legends of the game will be involved in the UEFA Ultimate Champions Match on Friday, June 2 in Cardiff Bay.
The UEFA Champions Festival will close at 5pm on Saturday and reopen again on Sunday. There will be no screening of the game at the Festival site. However, Thursday and Friday in particular will give residents and visitors the opportunity to experience the Fans’ Festival first before many of the finalist’s fans arrive in the city.
Match day, on Saturday June 3, is expected to be extremely busy as two sets of supporters head to the city for the game. It is expected that the fans will soak up the atmosphere at the Festival before heading to the stadium for the game.
Before the Mens’ Final kicks off on June 3, all eyes will be on Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday, June 1 when the finest players in the women’s game contest the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. The women’s game kicks off at 7.45pm and attracts a live TV audience of 5m. Tickets for the match are available from www.uwclf2017.co.uk
Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Wales said: “An event of this magnitude affords us a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow the game here in Wales, and have a positive and long lasting effect on Welsh Football. Euro 2016 showed many people across Europe that Wales is a proud and successful footballing nation. To host the UCL Final twelve months later once again puts Wales on the map.
“While the footballing world turns its attention to Cardiff, it’s vital that we ensure that everyone here in Wales has the opportunity to feel part of this fantastic event. Over the coming weeks and months, numerous initiatives are being launched, including a Wales-wide trophy tour, school education programme, UCL themed 5-a-side National Cup competition, girls football festivals and many more, all designed to ensure the Welsh public feel part of the Final in Cardiff.”
As part of the legacy for hosting the UCL and UWCL Finals, UEFA are donating a 3G Maxi Pitch to Cardiff.
The event is expected to generate an economic impact of £45m to Cardiff and the wider region.
The FAW is working closely with Visit Cardiff and Visit Wales to ensure that all visitors to Cardiff and the region receive a warm Welsh welcome.
Around 12,000 hospitality guests will attend the event with only a limited number of packages remaining – over 7,000 people will be catered for in the UEFA Champions Village in Bute Park, 2,000 people in the UEFA Football Village in Cardiff Castle and 3,000 guests inside the stadium. A Fan Camp will also be created in Bute Park which will be able to accommodate 5000 people.
Public access to parts of Bute Park and Cardiff Castle will be restricted during the construction of these event facilities.
Around 170,000 people are expected to travel to Cardiff for the final on June 3. The event will be unlike anything seen in the City before. Trains and roads across the region will be extremely busy and people are advised to avoid travelling that day unless journeys are essential. As with all major events in the city and for safety reasons, there will also be significant road closures across the city centre. To find out more about the event and for up-to-the minute information on the City’s preparations visit – www.Cardiff2017.Wales This site will be continuously updated as more information becomes available.
The UEFA Champions League in numbers
- 170,000 people estimated to be in Cardiff to enjoy the match or experience the atmosphere on Saturday June 3
- 100 private jets will transport VIPS to Cardiff
- 25,000 supporters will travel to the event on on-day charter flights
- The match will be broadcast in over 200 countries to a live TV audience of 200 million.
- Additional high speed trains to London will run from 11pm – 4am after the event to take fans back after the match.
- 12,000 accredited staff will work at the event
- 1,800 staff will be working in the broadcast compound at Cardiff Arms Park
- 1,313 primary schools across Wales will have the opportunity to participate in a specially-created education programme
- 2,000 catering staff will work at Bute Park and Cardiff Castle
- 1,500 Champions (volunteers) are needed to help with the UWCL and UCL
For more information, please visit the FAW website.