As sad as it sounds, group phase of Euro 2012 may have seen the last big games held at Arena Lviv for months. The city’s largest teams has just started to sell season tickets. For their old stadium.
When Karpaty moved from Stadion Ukraina to Arena Lviv in November 2011, it seemed the club is there to stay. First game against Dynamo Kyiv in December was almost sold out, but then it started getting worse. Finally on April 9th the club announced it will end the 2011/12 season back at Stadion Ukraina.
No official statement giving reasons was given to date. Unofficially it’s said that maintenance costs are too high and location outside the city is very uncomfortable for usual match-goers.
To add to that, Lviv’s second biggest club, FK Lviv followed Karpaty out of the Arena Lviv. Since then the ground has only been used for tests and Euro 2012. And if anyone hoped for a new start this season, no hope should be left. Karpaty launch their season ticket sale on July 4th – for the old stadium.
What now for Arena Lviv? Not much. One concert announced for next year and a restaurant-banqueting centre opened inside the main stand with quite some interest for hosting parties among Lvivians. But no big football planned any time soon – only a possibility for smaller football and rugby clubs to use it if conditions allow them.
The stadium has been built as part of Ukraine’s Central Sports Complex in Kyiv, just like the Olympic Stadium and will be financed from central government budget.