Football: Sting to open Poland's first Euro 2012 stadium

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The Independent Online

British pop veteran Sting will next week open a stadium in Poznan, western Poland, the first of four due to host matches in the 2012 European football championships, city authorities said Thursday.

Monday's concert in the 43,000-seat venue will allow the authorities to gauge their ability to deal with the crowds set to flock to the city for matches, they said.

"For us, it will be the first test of how to deal with traffic in the city in a Euro 2012 setting," Poznan's deputy mayor, Tomasz Kayser, was quoted as saying by the Polish news agency PAP.

For the concert - and later the football - Poznan city hall will lay on free public transport, special car-parks, and a volunteer service to help visitors.

The first high-level on the pitch test will come on November 17, when Poland's national team is scheduled to play Ivory Coast in a friendly game in Poznan.

The three remaining stadiums set to host matches are due to open one by one before the end of August next year.

They are located in the Baltic port of Gdansk, the capital Warsaw and the southwestern city of Wroclaw.

Poland's co-host for the championships - Europe's largest football showcase - is neighbouring Ukraine.

The four stadiums there are located in the capital Kiev, the western city of Lviv, Donetsk in the east, and Kharkiv in the northeast.