The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship in St. Petersburg has been held to very high standards, St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Boris Piotrovsky said at a news conference at the Host City Media Center, adding that the city's organizational efforts had been praised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
"UEFA EURO 2020 in St. Petersburg was organized to a high standard, including the safety side of it. UEFA confirmed this, in statements for the Organizing Committee and the city," he said.
He reminded his audience that St. Petersburg had hosted seven EURO 2020 matches, three of which were added due to a difficult epidemiological situation in Dublin. The seven games were attended by 133,000 spectators in total.
"The stadium operated at its half capacity, according to all the regulations which we are now used to: taking people's temperature at the entrance, social distancing, and so on. Volunteers and staff who worked at the stadium and in the fan zones, took PCR tests and had an opportunity to get vaccinated quickly and easily," he said.
In all, 29,000 foreign football fans visited the city during EURO 2020, with Finland and Poland accounting for the highest inflows.
"In normal circumstances, this number would have been many times higher but for 2021, it was huge," he said.
The UEFA Festival was held in St. Petersburg during EURO 2020. The fan zones in the city were visited by a total of 254,000 people. The most popular venue was the Football Village on Konyushennaya Square, which boasted a 216,000-strong attendance.
"These are good figures, and it is about what we expected. The fan zone on Konyushennaya Square was set up specifically for this event, as was the Football Park at the Yubileiny Sports Palace. The public viewing area on Palace Square was a unique place that gave fans an opportunity to watch football in the city center," he said.
Banners and other ornaments with official EURO 2020 symbols created a festive atmosphere.
"We decorated the city. You must have seen 1,764 pieces of festive equipment and banners, on Nevsky Prospekt and on the bridges, too. The bridges were decorated with our hallmark colors. Every time I drove past, it was a reminder of this big football festival," the deputy governor said.
Apart from that, Boris Piotrovsky thanked journalists for their work at EURO 2020 and commended the Host City Media Center for its performance.
"We held many news conferences here. The media center provided very comfortable working conditions for journalists and bloggers from all over the world. Around 581 international journalists worked here," he said.
Mr. Piotrovsky also said that preparations were underway for the UEFA Champions League finals, the season's main football match to be played in St. Petersburg on May 28.
"We have a lot of serious work to do. The most unusual thing is that we will be able to find out which football fans supporting which clubs will meet in the city only a few weeks before the event," the deputy governor said.