Belfast: Super Cup to boost Irish FA and Windsor Park
source: StadiumDB.com [KT]; author: Karol
National Football Stadium at Windsor Park received an important facelift before the game between Chelsea FC and Villarreal CF. Up to 13,000 fans will be able to watch UEFA Super Cup live.
National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, which will host Wednesday's clash, can hold over 18,000 people. From the group of recent bidders for any UEFA competitions, it was one of the smallest candidates. For the Super Cup in 2021 - the smallest for sure. Remaining venues offered between 22,000 (Minsk) and 40,000 (Kharkiv), with Helsinki in between (36,000).
Stadium technology upgraded
The right to organise the UEFA Super Cup created additional possibilities to upgrade the venue. The technical improvements are about installing the new wireless network in the stadium’s media tribune along with a series of fiber connections to different parts of the ground to provide high speed connectivity for VAR (video assistant referee) and goal-line technology system.
Changes also refer to the LED ad system. The perimeter advertising boards being used at the Super Cup will be new to Northern Ireland as they are going to have LED overlays. Increasingly, LED technology is replacing traditional boards in sports broadcasts.
This solution allows the usage of additional advertising space. Technically, it is about presenting different brands (contents) in the same space while advertising to different markets, with virtual overlays.
Thomas Fulton, the Irish FA’s head of stadium technology, explained:
With Super Cup 2021 on our doorstep we are both proud and privileged to have the opportunity to showcase our stadium from a technical perspective. We have had to make significant upgrades on our technical estate.
All the new infrastructure used to deliver today’s UEFA Super Cup will remain in place, making the stadium more attractive, especially when it comes to broadcasting and generating commercial values.
The game with a 13,000 crowd
Up to 13,000 fans will be able to attend the UEFA Super Cup held in Belfast. Such a number of live viewers represents a 30% reduction in the overall stadium capacity. What is more, the approach recognises the need to remain cautious given the ongoing health situation in Northern Ireland.
We welcome an announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive and, following subsequent detailed discussions with our government partners and UEFA, we are delighted to announce that the UEFA Super Cup Final will be played on 11 August, at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, with a voluntarily reduced capacity crowd of 13,000. Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson said.
At the same time, there is also good news for the supporters traveling from Spain. The organisers secured a resolution that allows Villarreal fans to attend the game. As is common at the sports venues nowadays, all spectators attending the match will be asked to produce electronic proof of vaccination, negative lateral flow test result or negative PCR test result on entry.
The stadium, which will host the game, was officially inaugurated in 1905. Windsor Park has undergone several upgrades, with the last and most significant one in the years 2014-2016. The redevelopment included full replacement of the football surface and drainage; demolition of the south tribune, replacement of the south, east and west stands to provide modern spectator and media facilities in the south one; refurbishment of the seating in the north sectors, replacement of flood light mast with the new floodlighting integrated at roof height.
Author: Karol Tatar