Berlin and Munich have been selected to host the final and opening match in EURO 2024. Moreover, the cluster system in the tournament is reinstated after awhile.
Olympiastadion Berlin, the home turf of Hertha Berlin is chosen again for holding the EURO 2024 final. The venue with the capacity of 74,745 people is undeniably one of the largest in the country. Its rival, Allianz Arena in Munich, which was already awarded as one of the venues in European championship 2020 by staging four games, is still opted for the opening match, just like in World Cup 2006.
Traditionally, Munich was picked for holding the final match when (West) Germany hosted major tournaments in the past such as World Cup 1974 and EURO 1988. Its iconic venue Munich Olympic Stadium was the most unique one by design compared to the others. However, since German reunification in 1991, the Bavarian city has not been given the privilege any longer. Instead, Olympiastadion is selected due to its historic value and symbolises the unified Germany in the capital which was once divided in two, despite the fact that the stadium is actually located in the west side.
Furthermore, for the first time in 24 years, the cluster hosting system is going to be re-introduced in football major championship. Before the pandemic, it was not exactly popular as it limited the local fans' chance to see the other teams apart from the ones staging their games in the region regularly. However, the restrictions because of the pandemic leads to difficulties to a long-distance travel since it can risk to players' wellness. Consequently, they could be prone to injuries or worse, tested positive COVID-19. The pan European EURO 2020, which forced certain teams to deal with long-distance travel from one side of the continent to the other proved how such could be an issue for them.
The cluster system itself had always been used to hold matches in the preliminary round of any football major international tournaments before it was abolished in World Cup 1998. It was imposed with stricter rule, very often with only two or three cities tops for one group. In fact, during world cup 1962 in Chile, the games in one group even took place in only one city.
In EURO 2024 later, the venues will be divided in three regions/clusters. The teams are likely to travel only within two clusters for their games at the group stage. 10 stadiums have been chosen to host the tournament. Nine of them were picked for World Cup 2006, whereas the other one, Merkur Speil-Arena in Dusseldorf was not included. Yet, it was used in EURO 1988 and World Cup 1974. Here are the venues and the regions in this quadrennial continental championship:
- North and North East region:
- Olympiastadion, Berlin
- Volksparkstadion, Hamburg
- Red Bull Arena, Leipzig
- West region
- Merkur Spiel-Arena,Dusseldorf
- Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
- Arena Aufschalke, Gelsenkirchen
- RheinErnergiestadion, Koln
- South region
- Allianz Arena, Munich
- Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart
- Waldstadion, Frankfurt