Champions League final could be played under closed roof for first time in Cardiff

The roof of the 74,500-capacity stadium has been closed in the past for Wales rugby internationals, but shutting it for European club football's showpiece event would see UEFA break new ground

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff could be played under a closed roof for the first time.

UEFA will make the decision closer to the June 3 final at the Principality Stadium, local organising committee officials told a Champions League media briefing on Friday.

The roof of the 74,500-capacity stadium has been closed in the past for Wales rugby internationals, but shutting it for European club football's showpiece event would see UEFA break new ground.

There is, however, a precedent for a major football match being staged indoors as England played Argentina at the 2002 World Cup in Japan at the Sapporo Dome.

"I think most footballers prefer natural conditions, but it is an interesting one," said the Football Association of Wales' Alan Hamer, the local organising committee's project director.

"It is UEFA's decision, it is their event, and from a purist's perspective it is what many people would want.

"But having the roof shut would enhance the atmosphere.

"It's something that we need to speak to UEFA about nearer the time, and at the moment we've not been made aware of any decision.

"If we had really poor weather which put the pitch in jeopardy then it's an obvious decision. But we'll see what comes out of it."

More than 170,000 people are expected to arrive in Wales for the June 3 final, with the women's Champions League final being held at the Cardiff City Stadium two days earlier.

The Principality Stadium will be renamed the National Stadium of Wales for the event as UEFA regulations prevent a commercial title from being used.

A global television audience of 200 million is expected to watch the final, a figure which organisers say is double the size of American Football's Super Bowl, with the event said to have an economic benefit of £45m to Cardiff and the wider region.

"We are the smallest country to host the Champions League final and it puts us in the shop window for future events," Hamer said.

"It bodes well for the country forward."

PA

Comments