It was supposed to be a Euro 2020 training venue but even the extra year wasn’t enough. Now Rapid has to look for alternative home, proper inauguration is expected in autumn.
Yesterday was a symbolic day for some of Bucharest’s citizens. As depicted below, first floodlight tests were carried out in Giuleşti, Rapid’s new home. LED lighting is part of the equipment aimed at earning the venue UEFA’s Category 4. Full calibration of the lighting system will take some time but it’s a sign that the project is moving towards its end.
In late May the field was laid, almost all burgundy seats are installed, while facade cladding in similar colour is being mounted already. Although “already” might be an exaggeration in this case. After all, the stadium initially planned for opening in 2020, having seen groundbreaking in February of 2019.
Giuleşti was expected to become one of Bucharest’s four training stadiums. While the capital’s sports infrastructure is seeing a major boost, literally none of these stadiums was delivered on time, even with Euro 2020 being rescheduled for this year.
The last valid deadline was May and it was exceeded as well. Not only unavailable for Euro 2020, the stadium won’t become Rapid’s home from the start of the upcoming season (July 17). Rapid returns to the top flight and “Giuleştenii” will have to find a new home, even if only for a few weeks.
The most likely venue is Mioveni, the town west of Bucharest famous for being home to Dacia’s factory. Another, slightly closer location would be Giurgiu. Should both of them prove unfeasible for any reason, there are still Arena Națională and brand new Arcul de triumf left.
Proper opening ceremony is expected in late summer or early autumn. Rapid’s majority shareholder Victor Angelescu intends to hold an exhibition friendly against Dynamo Kyiv. Angelescu has already talked to manager Mircea Lucescu, currently at Dynamo, and the latter proposed September as preferred date.
Author: Michał Karaś