Donbass Arena

Capacity51 504
1159 (Press seats)
192 (Disabled seats)
Country Ukraine
CityDonieck
ClubsFC Shakhtar Donetsk
Inauguration 29.08.2009
Construction 06.2006 - 29.08.2009
Record attendance 53 353 (Shakhtar's 75-year anniversary ceremony, 14.05.2011)
Cost 400mln $
Project Arup Sport Company
Contractor ENKA
Other Club museum, megastore, 2 restaurants, 4 bars, cafe, fitness centre, conference space

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Description: Donbass Arena

When construction was launched in Donetsk, Poland and Ukraine's bid to host Euro 2012 was still a distant dream. However this investment was one of arguments supporting the attempt. First shovel hit the ground on June 27th 2006 and from the very beginning the ground, just like Shakhtar itself, was financed privately by Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man of not only Ukraine, but Europe as well.

There is a saying that private investments don't get as expensive and don't experience as many delays as those made by public authorities. First point didn't work here as final cost was 40% higher than early estimates ($400 mln compared to $250 mln). Second one proved true though, as the stadium was finished ahead of schedule, unlike the public-built Euro 2012 venues.

Opening ceremony was left at August 29th 2009 despite early finishing. That day is a national mining holiday and also the holiday of Donetsk. An occasion worthy of a good celebration – one might say. And that proved right for Donbass Arena which hosted a concert of American star Beyonce among other events of that night. Crowds were flocking the stadium and so they do for football, though sell-outs happen seldomly. Still - when they do, ground can be packed above capacity, like in May 2010, when Dynamo Kyiv came for season ending. 52,518 people watched that game, a result beaten only once so far, when Shakhtar was celebrating its 75-year Anniversary in May 2011.

The simple, universal shape resembles a flying saucer. Roof structure is sloped from the North to the South to let more sunlight in and allow for better circulation, but still the club needs to use lamps to increase pitch quality. That may also be because of the stands which are very high (divided into 3 tiers, not common with stadia of this size). Glass dominates the facades and at night illumination allows the ground to glow strongly. Ironically, the colours are not those of Shakhtar, but... local rivals, Metalurh. Or that's how some want to see it, because blue and yellow are also the national colours after all. Large park of some 25ha has been created rapidly when the stadium was being finished.

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