A news conference dedicated to the opening of the Host City Media Center was held in St. Petersburg. Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Chernyshenko addressed the audience via video link. He noted that St. Petersburg will pick up the baton of the football tournament tomorrow. In total, the city will host seven matches, which will be attended by more than 150,000 fans. There will also be three fan zones for football fans in the city.
Minister of Sport Oleg Matytsin, in turn, said that in the course of preparations for the championship, UEFA representatives repeatedly carried out inspections, and there were no questions about the city's readiness. He also noted that at the moment all training sites and the Saint Petersburg Stadium were fully prepared for UEFA EURO 2020.
"Everything connected with admission to the stadium, with the issue of FAN IDs, all these issues are also under control. I would like to express my gratitude to our colleagues from UEFA for their trust, for the fact that they provided an additional three matches to St. Petersburg," the minister emphasized.
In addition, he told journalists that two days ago he had visited the training camp of the Russian national team in Novogorsk.
"The spirit is competitive. We'll see closer to midnight tomorrow whether the guys are ready. But I hope that the celebration of Russia Day tomorrow will also give additional energy to our footballers," concluded Matytsin.
In general, it is symbolic for Russia to be one of the host countries of the championship, since this year marks the 60th anniversary of victory of the USSR national team at the first ever European Championship, according to Alexei Sorokin, general director of the EURO 2020 Organizing Committee in St. Petersburg.
He also stressed that the championship organizers — the federal government and the authorities of St. Petersburg — did everything possible to ensure the comfort and safety of guests, fans and participants.
"We have provided visa-free entry using FAN IDs, free travel around the city, as well as a huge number of cultural and entertainment events," Sorokin said.
According to Sorokin, all tickets for the four matches, which were originally supposed to take place in St. Petersburg, have been sold out. And for three additional games, ticket sales are still ongoing.
"The tickets are selling well. All of this shows that Russia loves football. We will also welcome foreign fans, maybe not as many as at the world championships, but there will still be many of them and we have done our best to make their stay in St. Petersburg comfortable and memorable," said the head of the EURO 2020 Organizing Committee.
In turn, St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Boris Piotrovsky clarified the match attendance requirements. He recalled that all spectators should wear a mask, and the seating will be carried out in a checkerboard pattern with respect to social distancing. All in all, the Saint Petersburg Stadium will be able to admit 30,500 spectators.
"We are doing our best to make UEFA EURO 2020 in St. Petersburg not only as spectacular and exciting as possible but also safe — this is also very important to us," he stressed.
Also, according to the Deputy Governor, there will be a Football Park in the city along with three fan zones. And on July 2, there will be a special zone for watching matches on Palace Square.
"The city is filling up with guests, tourists and fans. The city is ready and festively decorated. The city is really immersed in the atmosphere of a football holiday," Piotrovsky said.