LJUBLJANA (AFP) – The 2021 UEFA Champions League final will be played in Saint Petersburg, European football’s governing body announced on Tuesday.
The venues for the next three finals were revealed at UEFA’s Executive Committee meeting in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, with Munich being awarded the 2022 showpiece and the 2023 final being given to Wembley.
In awarding the venues for the next three years, UEFA have had to take into account not just the likely demand for match tickets but also the importance of hotel rooms and transport infrastructure.
That means there are a limited number of cities around Europe capable of successfully staging a match of such magnitude.
“The chosen venues have proper mobility, hotels and everything else. Where we have a problem, and probably will have a problem anywhere, is that sometimes hotels take advantage of the fact the Champions League final is in a certain city,” admitted UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. “I am sure that if you check those three cities in half an hour you will see that hotel prices have already started to rise.
“This is a problem but it is hard for us to influence. That is why we want to go to such big cities with so many hotels that in the end you can choose.”
“Those venues are big cities, interesting cities, accessible for the fans and with very nice stadiums,” Ceferin added, although he said he “cannot do any promises for now” in terms of increasing ticket allocations for supporters.
This season’s final will be played in Istanbul, before hosting is given to the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg.
The venue, complete with a retractable roof, was built ahead of the 2018 World Cup held in Russia. It hosted seven matches at that tournament, including France’s semi-final win over Belgium and will also host four games at Euro 2020. It will be the second Champions League final to be played in Russia after Manchester United beat Chelsea in Moscow to win the trophy in 2008.
The 70,000-seat Allianz Arena in Munich is also a host venue for Euro 2020 and staged the 2012 Champions League final when Bayern Munich lost on penalties to Chelsea.
The 2023 final will be the eighth to be held at Wembley, with the iconic 90,000-seat London venue also hosting the semi-finals and final of next year’s European Championship.