UEFA's tradition of donating a maxi-pitch to the UEFA Europa League final host city has continued in the Swedish capital.
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For Stockholm, the memories of a thrilling Europa League final won’t be the only thing left behind after the trophy is lifted tomorrow night.
Since the 2010 Champions League final in Madrid, and the 2011 Europa League final in Dublin, UEFA has aimed to ensure a long-lasting legacy for their showpiece events by building 3G ‘maxi-pitches’ in each of the host cities. Stockholm is no exception to the rule, and a new pitch, fully funded by UEFA has been built in the northern suburb of Husby. The pitch was officially unveiled today (23 May) by officials from UEFA, the city of Stockholm, the SvFF and the UEFA Europa League final ambassador Patrik Andersson, who described the new pitch as somewhere the young children of the area could "achieve their dreams".
As part of the ceremony, the crowds were treated to a display of grassroots football, a fitting choice as the idea behind the pitch is to offer young people inspired by the final somewhere to hone their skills and have fun as they aim to emulate their heroes.
Frank Ludolph, UEFA head of football education services said: "UEFA acknowledges the importance of grassroots football and its impact at the top of the professional game. This is why we have, as part of our extensive Grassroots Programme, been donating maxi-pitches as a legacy for all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League final host cities since 2010.”
Emilia Bjuggren, Vice Mayor of Stockholm said: "This is a great opportunity to create joy, to give young kids the occasions to play sports and become healthy. It's an important investment and we're very grateful."