The Donbass Arena (or Donbas Arena) in Donetsk is a shining example of the confidence and innovation that has coursed through the Ukraine since the 'Orange Revolution' of 2005.
The Donetsk-based stadium is arguably Euro 2012's most impressive venue from an architectural point of view, with its most striking feature a circular roof which slopes from north to south. The oval shape of the arena and glass fronted façade has seen locals nickname the stadium ‘the flying saucer'. Donbass Arena was built by the Turkish construction company ENKA and designed by ArupSport, who were responsible for the equally impressive Allianz Arena in Munich, the City of Manchester Stadium (aka the Etihad Stadium and home of Manchester City) and the Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest), venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Of the eight venues for Euro 2012, the Donbass Arena was one of the earliest to be completed opening on August 29th, 2009 with a spectacular concert. Beyonce Knowles was amongst the performers to rock the $300m stadium on its opening night.
The ground has proved a lucky omen for its residents Shakhtar Donetsk, with the Hirnyky (Miners) having won the Ukrainian Championship and Super Cup as well as qualifying for the Champions League in their first season playing there.
Donbass Arena is one of three UEFA Elite rated stadiums to be hosting Euro 2012 football and it's easy to see why. Views from all areas of the ground are excellent and supporter facilities are as good as any stadium in Europe.
Visitors to the 51,504-seater Donbass Arena should prepare to be wowed.
Donbas Arena, Donetsk, Ukraine © Дядя Саша
Creative Commons License
One of the great features of the Donbass Arena is its proximity to Donetsk city centre. The stadium is located in Lenin Comsomol Park (Voroshilovskiy district) - a short walk from Donetsk's main shopping area.
Tram No.1 from the central railway station serves the Prospekt Mira stop (20 minute journey), which is just outside the Donbass Arena.
Donetsk itself is well connected to Russia, Western Europe and Asia by rail. 32 rail services run to the capital Kiev every day, taking around 12 hours.
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