Ukrainians opened their Euro 2012 adventure with 2 goals in Kyiv, so we celebrate it with 2 stadiums from Kyiv. One even lying in the direct vicinity of tonight’s arena. Both small, but very important to the Premier Liga.
The northern district of Obolon is known for quality beer of the same name, but they also play football here. Not too long, but at least good. Already when the stadium was opening in 2002 and could hold only 2,000 people, FK Obolon was in Ukrainian top flight. Works on new main grandstand started in 2006 and lasted 2 years. Since it ended capacity stands at 5,103 and allows the club to effectively fulfill league requirements.
Today a stadium, but until 2004 just a training field in the background of nearby Olympic Stadium. In 2004 Ukrainian FA decided to expand it into a minor ground of less than 2,000 seats, but with all modern facilities to serve the country’s youth teams.
Apart from young players it also proved very helpful to Premier Liga clubs. In 2005 Obolon moved in while their ground was being redeveloped. Then came more distant FK Lviv and finally Arsenal Kyiv who moved to another venue for 2012/13, making this small stadium a top flight arena for the time being.
The stadium’s name celebrates Viktor Bannikov, once a great goalkeeper for the USSR team and then the initiator and founder of Ukrainian Football Association.