Desna Chernihiv Stadium – FC Desna Chernihiv
Photos by Adam Pate, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
Desna Chernihiv Stadium st. Shevchenko 61 Chernihiv, 14027 Ukraine
Year Opened: 1930
Football in Chernihiv
Note: In the spring of 2022, the stadium was heavily damaged after Russian missiles struck the ground and was subsequently ransacked by looters. Efforts are underway to obtain funds for rebuilding.
The city of Chernihiv in the north of Ukraine is celebrating some great days for its football team. Throughout its history, they have never known such a high level of success. As a result, the stadium lacks a lot in terms of facilities, but makes up for it with charm.
Food & Beverage 4
The Yuri Gagarin Stadium offers a good mix of concessions for supporters. Be prepared to queue as they are very popular with visitors. However, located at each end of the main stand, the queue offers views of the pitch, so you do not have to miss any action.
Take cash as the food vans cannot use cards yet. Plans are afoot, though. Hot food is available from the bbq, and the fryers, so take your pick. There are also cold snacks available to suit your taste.
The local Obolon beer was available for purchase in the ground for a couple of dollars. Hot drinks are available until the boiled water has run out for less than a dollar.
Try the barbecued meat for a couple of dollars. Very tasty and a unique offering in Ukraine.
Despite having seen better days, the Yuri Gagarin Stadium still manages to create a good atmosphere. Get ready for antiquated facilities but a brilliant view of all the pitch from this multi-purpose facility. Yes, there is an athletics track.
The stadium has two stands that run either side of the pitch and go back around twenty rows. The seats in the centre of the stand are more expensive; however, you can easily view the whole pitch. The far side stand is in poor condition, with the supporters club and visiting fans being the only ones allowed over there. Giant Desna Chernihiv banners and security fences separate them as well. The food huts are located at either end of the main stand, with toilet facilities nearby.
The stadium has very little in terms of entertainment away from the game itself. Most supporters gathered near the main gate before the game, enjoying the food facilities there. You have the option though to watch the pre-game warm-ups as well.
Seating is only available to visitors on one side of the pitch. The sectors nearer the halfway line are more expensive. If visiting, check the weather beforehand as there is no roof, and you are open to the elements.
The Yuri Gagarin stadium is located to the south of the centre. It is in a residential district, so there are facilities available. However, it is better to take a public bus to the town.
Dynoys Café, over the road from the stadium, is very popular with supporters, who want to get a drink or a quick bite to eat before kick-off. It is affordable but low on quality. It is preferable to eat before or after the game in one of the many downtown restaurants. Georgian restaurant ‘Buba’ and gastro pub ‘Robata’ sit in the main square around three kilometers from the ground, providing great people-watching vantage points.
The city is off the tourist trap, but there is a pleasant park to walk through before the game. The central district also offers some pleasant churches to visit before the game. Chernihiv will have a second team in the professional leagues this season, so it is worth checking out if they are playing.
The Presidentskyi and the Riverside Park Hotels are both located within a kilometer of the stadium. They are found in quite a picturesque location on the banks of the river Desna. In the centre of the city, you can find a Reikartz as well, which provides similar facilities as elsewhere in the country.
Desna Chernihiv has some of the most loyal and loud supporters in the Ukrainian Premier League.
Desna supporters turn out in larger numbers than usual for the league. The stadium was generally at 75% full but is packed for the visit of the big two. It is an impressive level and puts them in the top four of the league.
With passionate fans on either side of the pitch, the stadium does make a lot of noise. The main singing section is not accessible for occasional supporters, but you can still get involved. The away fans also have their own area, which is always populated with fans.
Although located away from the center, the Yuri Gagarin stadium is very accessible for supporters. From the wide concourses to the good public transport access, it is an enjoyable trip.
Several public buses run from the center along Shechenka Street towards the ground. Just jump off near the park, and you will be near the only entrance to the ground. Taxi’s drop supporters off outside the ground as well. The only problem with Chernihiv is that the train network doesn’t run in this part of the country, making access from Kyiv reliant on buses.
Free parking places are in abundance around the ground. We recommend parking in the neighboring park, as it is relatively quiet and an easy escape after the game.
As there is only one gate to enter, it is hard to get lost on a trip to Chernihiv. Security carries out body checks on the ground entrance, but it is nothing more than your typical procedure.
Sadly, the toilets are not the most pleasant of experiences here. Plans are afoot to open a new facility for supporters, with more modern conveniences next season – we can only hope. The entrance to the ground is quite open, with plenty of space for people to move around. Supporters with mobility needs will need to take their place on the first row as the steps up into the stands are quite severe.
Return on Investment 4
As a trip to the Premier League, the Chernihiv experience is a very affordable day out. It provides enjoyment to people of all ages, and the city is close enough to add to the trip.
As with most stadia in Ukraine, five dollars will provide a visitor with a good experience. Ticket prices range between one or two dollars, while food and beverage start at a couple of dollars. For visitors, who want to purchase a memento of the day, the souvenir shop is close by, and t-shirts will only cost you an additional five dollars.
As you can imagine, you can bring your own food for less money into the stadium. It is worth buying tickets higher up in the corners as you have a great vantage point for the game itself.
It is possible to organize a tour of the venue beforehand, and the souvenir shop is easily accessible by the main gate before match time.
In terms of days out, Chernihiv is a fantastic city, close to Kyiv. The team is at a high point in its history, and it is a pleasure to be part of the experience.