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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The new Arena Lviv took three years to build at a cost of 211 million Euros and was specially constructed for the 2012 European Football Championships. The stadium has an all seated capacity of 34,915 and combines traditional national architecture with modern design. With a transparent roof and a colourful seating layout, the venue offers excellent viewing facilities from all areas of the stadium. The stadium’s opening was marked with an international friendly between Ukraine and Austria in 2011.
Arena Lviv is the home of Ukrainian Premier League side Karpaty Lviv. The team takes their name from the nearby Carpathian Mountains, and have been in existence since 1963. The stadium is well designed with plenty of food outlets and toilet facilities and once inside the layout of the concourse makes moving around the stadium comfortable.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
It's difficult to gauge a stadiums food and beverage pricing structure during major competitions as catering is provided in this case by UEFA. However for the tournament prices were extremely cheap and the food was also of good quality. Hot food ranges from chicken nuggets and fries to local pies. Kiosks also sold a wide range of ice creams, sweets, confections, and crisps.
The atmosphere on my visit to the stadium for the Denmark versus Portugal game was electric. The design of the stadium ensures that the noise levels are retained within. Having not attended a league game here it is difficult to gauge the atmosphere on a normal match day, but one would imagine that it may be a bit lacking when not full.
The city of Lviv is a hidden gem located near to the border with Poland in western Ukraine. The historic centre of the city with its cobbled streets, cafes and bars makes it an ideal place for a city break. Lviv is home to many cultural institutions including the famous Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet and the city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
With a wide range of hotels the main shopping area has a mixture of both modern stores mixed with typical Ukrainian shops. For my visit I can recommend the Hotel Etna which was excellent value for money.
The Krendens Café in the main high street is highly recommended for a wide range of coffees, teas and cakes. On the opposite side of the street by the main square, The Gallery serves up excellent food and drink. Dining out in the Ukraine is extremely cheap and alongside Kiev, visiting Lviv if in the country is a must.
Karpaty are not one of the Ukraine's bigger clubs although they will naturally dispute that statement. It is hard to imagine that they will fill the stadium on a regular basis. However having seen the team play away in a Europa League game, I can state that their small away following created a noisy and entertaining atmosphere which would transmit to home games.
Arena Lviv is located approximately four miles out of town in the southern outskirts of the city. The stadium is within easy reach of the M10, M06 and E40 and if travelling by car the area offers plenty of car parking as the venue is a typical out of city development.
The city's excellent tram system does not extend to the stadium but buses run from both the city centre and the Railway Station on match days. The station is a mere ten minute tram ride from the historic city centre and its architecture makes it worth a visit in itself.
Tickets to Karpaty games are excellent value at 100 UAH which is less than £10 in English currency. This is value for money in any circumstances for top flight football but represents excellent value when you are sat in a venue of this stature.
Stadium tours lasting approximately one hour and are available on request priced at 40UAH. The venue has its own website, and Karpaty Lviv FC souvenirs are available in the club shop.
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5 Valova St
Lviv, Ukraine 79031
38 (032) 235 – 45 – 13
Svobody Ave 28
Lviv, Ukraine 79031
+38 (032) 235-65-86
Yeroshenka St 13
Lviv, Ukraine 79039