Rome in Tirana: jewel stadium, but Uefa chaos on tickets for the final

ROME – Wembley would not be enough, imagine the small stadium in Tirana. The hunt for the ticket for the final of Conference continues. But it’s hard, very hard. For the Roma fans as well as for the Feyenoord fans. The bizarre choice of UEFA to play the game in a facility that will be able to accommodate less than 19,000 people, including the buffer zones for safety, creates great difficulties for those who had already bought air tickets to Albania for some time. The two clubs have not received a third of the passes for the moment, as is tradition for the finals. But less: Rome for example had about 3,500 admissions, which it distributed for free. A part went by lot to the season ticket holders, the disabled and the 166 veterans of Bodø, a thousand families linked to the company and sponsors, while the two official supporters’ associations obtained a contingent of 100 tickets each. A quota will also be granted to organized groups of the Curva Sud. The rest is up to the distribution of UEFA, which will put them up for sale on its website next week at a cost ranging from 50 to 180 euros. The remaining endowment should be around 10,000 tickets. Impossible to please everyone for a historic event that will be played in the wrong venue.

The intervention

Not for Tirana, of course, a beautiful and welcoming city. The same stadium, theKombetare Arena, is considered one of the European jewels. We talked about it with the Italian architect who was entrusted with the project, Marco Casamonti. “The stadium is one of the most modern in Europe. I understand the problem of capacity – he explained to us – but it was chosen precisely for its efficiency. Visibility and comfort are perfect. And then it is located in the heart of the city: almost everyone can reach it on foot“. Inaugurated in 2019, it cost 100 million euros, 10 of which financed by the Albanian football federation and the rest by private investors: “In Italy only the Juventus Stadium and the Dacia Arena have a standard of this level. Energy consumption with LED lighting is very low. And the technology is of the latest generation in every respect“. It is used only by the Albanian national team and for the national cup finals: “But it is an example of usability that we should refer to in Italy. In Tirana there is no stadium but a building that is used even when there is no match. In the tower that overlooks the stands there is a hotel. And on the sides you will find restaurants, shops, shopping centers. A sustainable investment in step with the times that was able to benefit from the construction on an existing plant“. The old Qemal Stafa stadium, of which only the main facade survives, in travertime: “We wanted to keep it because it had historical value. We removed it and then hung it up. But to increase the capacity to 22,000 seats without violating urban planning laws, we preferred to build two rings, giving up one of the four stands. On one side there are only 2,000 VIP seats, in the style of the Buenos Aires Bombonera. This idea, which also recalls the old Greek-Roman theaters, makes the stadium usable for other events, such as concerts: just place the stage in front of the grandstand which cannot be used for spectators.“.

Controversy

The protests against UEFA, however, are advancing. And it’s not just about the Conference final. Also for the Champions League, which is played in Paris in the huge Stade de France, the European football government has kept for itself a number of tickets that penalizes the fans of Liverpool and Real Madrid. “Finalist clubs cannot have fewer than 20,000 entries eachObserved Jürgen Klopp, who also in the past had said he was critical of UEFA’s management of the finals. “Someone should explain to me where all the other tickets go“. Ah, to know.

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Rome in Tirana: jewel stadium, but Uefa chaos on tickets for the final


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