Bucharest set for first final in 2012

Romania will host its first ever European club final after the new National Stadium, currently under construction in Bucharest, was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee to hold the 2012 UEFA Europa League final.

National Stadium Bucharest
©Max & Boeg

Romania will host its first European club final after the new National Stadium in Bucharest was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee to hold the 2012 UEFA Europa League final.

Under construction
Construction on the new 55,000-seater stadium is under way and expected to be completed by November 2010. It will be similar in style to the Frankfurt Stadium which was built ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and will boast a retractable roof. On completion, it will become the new home of the Romanian national team and will also host domestic and international club matches, with FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti already having announced its interest in moving into the new ground.

Significant site
The new stadium will be the biggest in Romania and is being built on the same site as the old National Stadium, which was demolished at the end of 2007. Built in six months in 1953 and named 23 August after Romania's former national day, the old stadium had an initial capacity of 80,000 and hosted the International Youth Festival in 1953 before becoming home to the Romanian national football side and venue for the nation's most important domestic league and cup fixtures. It was also the venue for athletics competitions including the World University Games in 1981.

New name
After the December Revolution in 1989, its name was changed to the National Lia Manoliu Stadium in memory of Olympic discuss champion Lia Manoliu, and its capacity reduced to a 55,000 all-seater stadium. Romania defeated Albania 6-1 in their final match at the old venue, a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier on 21 November 2007. Romania last hosted a major UEFA event in 1998 – the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. The capital has also celebrated UEFA club competition success before, with FC Steaua Bucureşti winning the European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Seville in 1986.