Italian fans celebrate
I love all sports, and when I’m on holiday in Europe I always like to catch a local game to feel more at home. That usually
means football, but I’ve found myself watching everything from martial arts to Bossaball (think volleyball on an
inflatable court with trampolines!) on my travels. These are just a few of the most spectacular stadiums in Europe
- when you next take the quick trip across the channel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, maybe you’ll have time to visit
one or more of them.
The first stadium on my list is also the newest. Juventus Stadium in Turin only opened a couple of years ago, replacing
the unpopular Stadio delle Alpi - anyone who tried to see a game there will remember how much Juventus needed a new
home! The new stadium is an amazing experience for fans, with every single seat less than 50m from the pitch and
the closest stand just 7.5m away. What’s more, Juventus Stadium is one of the most eco-friendly sports grounds in
the world, producing all its own electricity through solar panels.
Stade de France
The only stadium in the world to have hosted finals of the football AND rugby World Cups, the Stade de France is a huge
monument to the French love of sport. It can be found just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. Now I come
to think of it, Saint Denis is the patron saint of France - maybe the builders were hoping the French teams would
have some divine help! With a capacity of 81,388, this is Europe’s sixth largest stadium as well as one of its most
diverse - in recent years, crowds have enjoyed everything from the Motorsport Race of Champions to the World Championship
in Athletics to Lady Gaga.
The Olympic Stadium in Berlin has got an amazing history, but it’s just as important today as it’s ever been. Hitler
watched the 1936 Olympic Games from its stands, and this season it’s due to host the final of the UEFA Champions
League (which is starting in just a few weeks!). The Olympiastadion is also the home of top-flight German team Hertha
BSC, who are worth a trip all on their own - and thanks to a pretty amazing new app, you can order your mid-match
drinks and snacks without even getting out of your seat!
The futuristic roof of Berlin's Olympiastadion
Until the club closed a few years ago, my trips to the Netherlands’ biggest stadium were always to watch the Amsterdam
Admirals, my favourite American football team. Europe have lost interest in touchdowns and linebackers, but this
stadium is still worth a trip whether or not you’re a fan of AFC Ajax (if you are, there’s a great museum). The ArenA
has hosted stars from Michael Jackson to the Rolling Stones at its popular concerts, and there’s plenty of parking
if you want to pop in as part of a longer trip.
This famous stadium is in pretty bad disrepair nowadays, but it’s still worth catching a game there. Just joking! The
Colosseum is an amazing place to visit, but it’s a long time since anybody’s played any sport there (or been eaten
by a lion).
The Colosseum, perhaps Europe's oldest stadium
The wonderful thing about sport in Europe is how universal it is. Wherever you are, you’ll be able to find a crowd of
fans and fit right in - even if you don’t speak the language, cheering (not to mention shouting at the ref) sounds
the same everywhere! I always like travelling by car when I’m going to a match, so I can step straight into the crowd
and feel at home. That’s what makes Eurotunnel Le Shuttle so convenient when heading to a stadium - having your own car means you can get right to the heart of the action,
and with a crossing time of just 35 minutes you could even take a daytrip to the continent to see a game! Just remember
to pack the right colour scarf...
Italian fans celebrate