Warsaw: Narodowy reopens in two weeks, what then?

source: Gazeta.pl

Warsaw: Narodowy reopens in two weeks, what then? Poland’s largest stadium will remain closed until mid-July as UEFA have to pack their equipment. But what happens when they do? “Gazeta Wyborcza” reports. There are only three large events announced for this year. Way too few to get out of the red.

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Today dismantling the temporary infrastructure began. Extensive “UEFA town” will take some 2 weeks to remove, which means the ground will be reopened at the last moment. On July 15th Polish Superbowl is planned to be played at the venue.

At the same time Warsaw residents will have the first opportunity to wander around the park surrounding Stadion Narodowy – until now all gates around the stadium were closed on non-matchdays. From mid-July they will remain open every day until dusk.

Availability of the park alleys is one thing, but event calendar is what may raise real concerns. Of the events already announced, only three have the potential to bring revenues. Superbowl isn’t among them as only the lower tier will be open for that game and even those sections shouldn’t be packed – some 15,000 people are expected.

Final stage of Warsaw Marathon also won’t aid the budget. This will happen when Madonna and Coldplay visit the stadium (respectively on Aug 1st and Sept 19th). Third large-scale event is the prestigious Poland-England game scheduled for Oct 16th. No news about next year so far, only rumors of Depeche Mode coming in 2013, but Narodowe Centrum Sportu (NCS, venue’s operator) suggests 2-3 more may complete the list.

Way too few events as experts claim having over a dozen may still mean losses. That’s why Warsaw has a conference center integrated into the stadium and there the calendar is packed. From September to December we only have a few days free for smaller corporate events. Christmas party reservations are also incoming, says Daria Kulińska, NCS’s head of communications.

Naming rights deal envisaged for several months is also not yet known. And the decision to name Stadion Narodowy after Poland’s greatest coach, Kazimierz Górski may influence ongoing negotiations. Though this has been a step anticipated since 2010 when first patronage propositions started appearing, NCS claim they are surprised by the decision to add patron to the name.

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