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Donbass Arena opened

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DONETSK, Ukraine -- Shakhtar Donetsk have officially opened their new stadium, the Donbass Arena. The ground has a capacity of 50,000 and will be a key component of the Euro 2012 Championships, hosted jointly by Ukraine and Poland.
The last decade has seen Shakhtar establish themselves as one of Ukraine's strongest teams as they have also emerged as a force around Europe, with much of that success taking place in the club's RSK Olympisky Stadium.

The Donbass Arena is named after the local region, which is the coal mining heartland of Ukraine and the people of Donetsk certainly seem to have taken to the impressive new landmark on their doorstep.

The stadium has a five star rating from UEFA, meaning it will be able to host European Cup and Champions League finals.

Construction started in 2006 and has cost approximately $400 million. However, none of this would have been possible without the help of Rinat Akhmetov. The Ukrainian multi-billionaire is the president of Shakhtar Donetsk and the man who financed the construction of the arena.

“I was in Paris in March 1999 to see Ukraine play France and I had a dream that one day I would be able to build one of the best stadiums in Europe for our supporters,” Rinat Akhmetov said.

To commemorate the unveiling of the new stadium an opening ceremony was held, and money was certainly not an issue.

American signer Beyonce performed, while a lot of work went into some excellently choreographed routines.

The greatest moment in Shakhtar’s history certainly wasn't forgotten either – the UEFA Cup was paraded around the arena, which was packed to capacity. The fans hope there will be a number of exciting European nights ahead in this new fantastic stadium.

Source: Russia Today

Written by: Sashko Tuesday, 01 September 2009 16:10