Cardiff: European success won’t force Wales to larger stadium
source: BBC.com; author: michał
The Welsh national team was greeted by some 200,000 people in Cardiff, having reached unprecedented success at Euro 2016. Still, moving back to Millennium Stadium is not an option.
Cardiff was literally brought to a standstill earlier today, when the national team was paraded along a 200,000-strong crowd. Beautiful scenes were earned by the team’s historic achievement of a European semifinal.
Now the focus is slowly shifting to the next challenge: 2018 World Cup qualifiers, beginning on September 5 against Moldova. The game will be played at Cardiff City Stadium, which is a de facto national stadium for Wales in recent campaigns.
While Cardiff is most known for the rugby giant Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium) and ticket demand for Wales is expected to soar, there are no plans of returning to the 75,000-capacity stadium. Chief executive of the Welsh Football Association (FAW) Jonatha Ford assured that the choice has already been made.
"We could gamble and go back to the Millennium Stadium. It is a magnificent stadium, we know that, we could get another 20,000 maybe, but we made a choice.” Ford said earlier today.
"I'd rather be playing at Cardiff City Stadium where there's 30,000 screaming Taffs breathing down the opposition's neck, and our boys feeding off that."
The opinion is shared by manager Chris Coleman, who also prefers staying at the expanded Cardiff City Stadium. Wales have been using it as their home (with some games awarded to Swansea) ever since they played the last Millennium Stadium fixture in 2011.
Decision isn’t definitive, if huge demand is indeed present later on. "If the demand is there we need to satisfy that demand whether that's at the Cardiff City Stadium or the Principality Stadium. But obviously it's not available to us for every single match." said Jonathan Ford.