The last venue to be completed before UEFA Euro 2012, the National Stadium Warsaw, Poland, opened with a big concert on 29 January 2012. The UEFA official capacity of the venue stands at 50,000. The stadium has a unique retractable PVC roof which unfolds from a nest on a needle suspended above the centre of the pitch.
An extremely picturesque site both on the interior and the exterior, the National Stadium will host three Group A matches featuring the home side Poland along with Russia and Greece. A quarter-final and a semi-final will also be hosted at this stadium.
The estimate cost of construction of the stadium stood at €500 million which the National government funded itself. The new stadium is now rising grandly above the Vistula river, a mile or two from the center of Warsaw. Located on the eastern banks of the Vistula in the district of Praga Poludnie, its red-and-white facade resembles a waving Polish flag and it was designed by JSK Architekci, the company behind the Municipal Stadium Wroclaw.
Warsaw is known as the Phoenix City and quite literally so as it prospers to greater heights politically, educationally, culturally and economically. Once in tatters after the World War II, the spirited survival and renewal is for all to see.
The Polish capital's oldest club KSP Polonia Warszawa celebrated their centenary in 2011 but, not for the first time, neighbours Legia Warszawa were the centre of attraction. Legia rallied to their 14th Polish Cup after a disappointing league campaign. No other team in the history has managed more than six. This was reminiscent of the 50's when they achieved a similar feat.
Dariusz Dziekanowski and Dariusz Wdowczyk share the rare distinction of representing Polonia, Gwardia and Legia (not to mention Celtic FC). Both won over half a century of caps, too, though Michal Zewlakow stands alone in Poland's 100 club.
Altitude: 106m above sea level
Motto: Contemnit Procellas (It Defies the Storms)
UEFA Capacity: 50,000
Tenants: Polish national team
Opened: January 2012
• The stadium hosted its first match as Poland drew 0-0 with Portugal. After EURO it will host American Football's Polish Bowl, and concerts by Madonna and Coldplay.
• The old venue which was partly built from the leftovers of the Warsaw Uprising and stood since 1955. Athletics and cycling too were contested here at the time.
• It was April 1983 when the last international was played at the old venue. Future Poland national team coach Pawel Janas restricted the hosts to a 1-1 UEFA European Championship qualifying draw with Finland.
• The roof, a 240x270m structure, features a crisscross of steel that clamps onto a giant spire hanging 30m over the centre spot.