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4 cities - 4 fan zone

Apart from the soccer match venues, by far the most excitement during this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament will take place in fan zones located in each of the eight host cities in Poland and Ukraine.

The zones will be the places where thousands of fans get entertained from morning to night. In them, gigantic large screens will broadcast all 31 games live, and plenty of food, beverages, souvenirs, and other amenities will keep guests occupied on match and non-match days alike. Europe’s top soccer governing body – UEFA – is allocating up to 1 million euros to each host city for equipment and branding, while taxpayers’ money will cover the remainder of costs in some cities.

The following is a brief description of each fan park in Ukraine:

Kyiv: Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)

Where else to base the nation’s largest fan zone but on the capital’s main square, where throngs of protesters peacefully helped overturn a fraudulent presidential election in 2004?

The fan zone will run along Khreshchatyk Street between Instytutska and Khmelnytsky streets with a capacity of nearly 70,000, according to Kyiv authorities. Kyiv city manager Oleksandr Popov said the fan zone will be expanded on the final match day to accommodate 92,000 fans.

Restaurant group Kozyrna Karta was selected as the general operator. UEFA is providing 1 million euros for the zone, and the government has awarded 40,000 euros to another company to set up the fan zone.

All 31 matches will be broadcast live on four giant screens.

Entrance will be free and will include entertainment, such as football skill tests, five-a-side pitches, live concerts and DJ sets, as well as a full range of food and drinks.

Hours will be from noon to 1 a.m.

Donetsk: Shcherbakov Park

The green alley leading to Donetsk’s Shakhtar Stadium will be able to hold up to 50,000 fans on 9.6 hectares of land. It will operate throughout the tournament and be open from noon until 2 a.m.

Fans will watch the games on three screens, one with an area of 100 square-meters, and two of 50 square-meters.

The main stage will lie in front of the stadium and will hold various contests, quizzes, karaoke and other events with another 30- square-meter screen. There will be 55 retail outlets selling food, beverages and souvenirs.

Guests will also be provided with free high-speed Internet access.

Atlas Catering was chosen to be the fan park’s general operator.

The area will have a VIP zone for 300 people including parking space for 44 cars for those wanting greater comfort.

UEFA plans to allocate 1 million euros for Donetsk’s fan zone, while the government earmarked more than 1 million euros for constructing it, according to Nashi Groshi, a public procurement watchdog.

Kharkiv: Ploshcha Svobody (Freedom Plaza)

One of Europe’s largest squares will house the nation’s second largest city’s fan zone covering 22,500 square meters with a capacity 50,000.
The zone will open June 7, one day before opening day kick off and will have different hours for match and non-match days.

On match days, hours will be noon to 1 a.m., and 4 p.m. to midnight on non-match days.

A 128 square-meter screen will be located near Kharkiv Hotel. Two more 20-square meter screens will be set up on both sides of the main stage. Entertainment will include football skill tests, live concerts and plenty of food, beverages and souvenirs with restaurant group Kozyrna Karta as general operator.

There’ll be 3 medical aid stations, 250 toilets, and a Wi-Fi zone. The area will have water supply and disposal.

The cost for erecting the fan zone is more than 2 million euros, according to Nashi Groshi, a non-profit that monitors public procurement orders.

Lviv: Prospekt Svobody (Freedom Avenue)

Western Ukraine’s unofficial capital will have the nation’s smallest fan zone with a capacity of 27,000 guests. The city's municipal Euro 2012 will operate the park and expects up to 750,000 euros from UEFA. However, with an area of 20,600 square meters near the Opera house, it will offer the most diverse attractions than any other Ukrainian host city. Three annual festivals that normally take place will be held over the course of the football tournament, one of them being the Lviv beer festival, which will take up part of the fan zone.

In addition, thematic days will be dedicated to the culture of the countries that’ll play their matches in Lviv, the host countries of Ukraine and Poland, and to each host city.

Entrance will be free and accessible from noon to midnight on match days, and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on non-match days.

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