It’s the evening of 12th June 2012, Poland trail 1-0 to their fierce neighbours Russia at the half way point of the second Group A match of the Euro 2012 footballing championships. The majority of the red and white patterned stadium is Polish fans who are fuelled by their nation’s resurgence in the football world and it’s clear the expectation is to win on home turf. In the 57th minute Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski fires home to send the national stadium into ecstasy, the game finishes in a draw and the Warsaw National stadium is truly christened into the football world.
The stadium, despite meaning ‘National Stadium’ in Polish is anything but, with nearly all the building components being bought from foreign countries, including the grass itself from Holland. Fractionally transparent, the stadium’s folding roof is made of fibreglass, covered with Teflon and was purpose built to withstand all weather conditions, including 18cm of wet snow. It was built on the site of the original 10th-Anniversary Stadium and was intended to appear to be rising out of its previous inhabitants ashes. Presumably the designers also intended it to look like the pinnacle of modern sporting architecture too, which we can confirm they achieved.
The spectacular arena has since gone on to host most Polish national sports including the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship where Poland demolished Serbia in front of 61,500 spectators – a record for a volleyball match.
You can go and see it up close with daily tours running daily and a ticket for that entitles you to free entry to the viewing platform – open every day from 09.00 am to 9.00 pm. Or alternatively, pop along next time the Polish national football team is playing at home.