While the La Cartuja Stadium in Seville, the London Wembley or the Johan Cruyff in Amsterdam have limited their capacity to 25 or 30%, the Puskás Aréna in Budapest will be the only one of the eleven venues for Euro 2020 to fully fill its stands , with capacity for 61,000 spectators.
UEFA reported last April that the Hungarian headquarters would be the only one that would be allowed to occupy the entire capacity, compared to the limits of 50% in Baku, 30% in Seville (16,000 spectators), Copenhagen or Glasgow or the 25% of London or Rome established to limit the risk of contagion from the coronavirus pandemic.
Hungarian fans will be able to enter the stadium after showing the national certificate of vaccination or having passed the disease, while foreigners, vaccinated or not, must show a recent negative PCR test for covid-19.
In Hungary, access to gastronomic venues and cultural and sporting events is limited to people with a vaccination certificate.
Of course, foreigners who have a ticket to one of the four Eurocup matches in Budapest will also be able to enter restaurants and bars with a negative coronavirus test.
The stadium, dedicated to Ferenc Puskás (1927-2006), the legendary forward of the Hungarian national team and Real Madrid, won one of the Prix Versailles for architecture last year in the sports facilities category.
There will be three European Championship Group F matches: Hungary-Portugal (June 15), Hungary-France (June 19) and Portugal-France (June 23), as well as a quarter-final match June 27.
All 61,000 tickets have already been sold for each of the four games.
The crowded stands
The unique case of Puskás Aréna is explained by the fact that Hungary is the second country in the European Union (EU) that is vaccinating the fastest.
More than 53% of the population has received at least one dose of the covid vaccines, and 37% the complete schedule, while the number of cases and daily deaths are at the levels of September last year, before the third wave.
Despite the improvement in the epidemiological situation, precautionary measures will be applied, such as foreigners presenting two negative PCR tests of less than five days old or a certificate that the disease has been overcome in the previous six months upon entry to the country. .
In addition, the rules stipulate, for now, that the use of masks will be mandatory inside the stadium.
“We ask everyone to respect the imposed rules,” explains Jenö Sipos, spokesman for the Hungarian Football Federation, who clarified that these rules may still change depending on how the pandemic evolves.
In the stadium there will be more than 900 disinfectant dispensers, payment in bars can be made with contactless cards and cleaning will be continuous, with the aim that the matches can be held under the greatest possible security.
However, there are Hungarian experts who have warned that the “certificate of protection” issued by the Hungarian authorities can create a false sense of security, since it is granted once the first dose of the vaccine is received, when the vaccine is not yet guaranteed. total immunity.
Experience in the pandemic
Puskás Aréna has already hosted several international matches during the pandemic, including with an audience, such as the final of the Super Cup played by Sevilla and Bayern Munich (1-2) last September.
That meeting, considered by UEFA itself as a “pilot test”, was played in front of some 16,000 spectators.
“The experiences were positive and both UEFA and the teams were satisfied,” says Sipos.
The Puskás Aréna, inaugurated in November 2019 with a friendly played between Hungary and Uruguay (1-2), is close to the center of Budapest, has good acoustics and perfect visibility from all sections of the stands.
The other venues of the Eurocup:
– Amsterdam. Johan Cruyff Arena
– Baku. Olympic Stadium
– Bucharest. National Arena
– Copenhagen. Parken
– Glasgow. Hampden Park
– London. Wembley
– Munich. Allianz Arena
– Rome. Olympic
– St. Petersburg. Krestovsky
– Seville: La Cartuja