Although the DFB had been three-time hosts of the final tournament under the former Under-18 denomination, the 15th edition of the European Under-19 Championship was the first to be played in Germany. The 16-match event was staged at ten different venues within the state of Baden-Württemberg, with the teams in Groups A and B initially based in Stuttgart and Ulm respectively. After the group stage, the headquarters was switched to Heidelberg.
The tournament started with a bang. The opening match between the host nation and Italy at the Stuttgart Arena was watched by a crowd of 54,689 – an attendance which pulverised the previous U19 record of 25,100 set when the host nation, Ukraine, entertained England in the 2009 final in Donetsk. After the spectacular raising of the curtain, the other matches were played in Aalen, Aspach, Heidenheim, Mannheim, Reutlingen, Sandhausen, Ulm and the Stadion auf der Waldau in Stuttgart, with the final, watched by a crowd of 25,100, taking place in Sinsheim.
To underline the competitive nature of Under-19 football, only four of the 2015 finalists were present in Germany. The most notable absentees were the defending champions, Spain, eliminated in the elite round after being drawn into the same group as England. Kick-off times were split between midday and evening. The climatic situation did not emerge as a major conditioning factor, with the highest temperatures generally corresponding to non-matchdays.
The tournament format featured an additional fixture, with the third-placed team from each group going into a play-off to determine Europe’s fifth participant (along with the four semi-finalists) at the FIFA U-20 World Cup to be staged in the Korea Republic in May-June 2017. This match, between Germany and the Netherlands, allowed the experimental introduction of a fourth substitute to be implemented. The Dutch coach made a fourth change in the 16th minute of extra-time, with his German counterpart availing himself of the same option four minutes later. In terms of player development, it was notable that only one outfielder remained unused during the final tournament.
There was extensive coverage of the tournament to a pan-European audience via Eurosport and, after the spectacular attendance at the opening game, the final balance was an impressive total of 162,972 at an average of 10,186 per fixture – which multiplied the figures for the previous year by a factor of 2.3 and practically quintupled the balance from 2014.