Business

Poland eyes Euro 2012 football cash boost

Poland plays Greece
Image caption Euro 2012 should prove lucrative for Poland

In 15 months, the Euro 2012 competition will kick off in Poland and the Ukraine, with fans from across the continent flocking to the European Championship event.

Marcin Herra, 35, who is steering Poland's half of the event, is aware of the potential economic benefits following the big kick-off in Warsaw on 8 June 2012.

"We see a positive impact for the economy over the next eight years of 6bn to 7bn zlotys (£1.32bn to £1.44n) extra," he says.

Mr Herra, who originally worked in the oil industry, also hopes the event will bring an extra one million tourists to the country, with 250m euros (£219m) being spent by visitors during the three week event.

As chief executive of PL 2012, the private company set up to organise the Polish half of the event, Mr Herra says they will complete building new stadiums in Poznan, Warsaw, Gdansk and Wroclaw by September this year.

Improved image

As well as the new football grounds, he says there are other benefits to the country.

"Organising this event gives us a chance to speed up development and modernisation of the country," he says at the Soccerex football finance forum in Manchester.

"It is also a chance to improve our brand - the image of the country."

In future, Poland should also be able to utilise the project experience it has gained from Euro 2012.

At home, close to 3,000 volunteers will be taken on across the country to help work in facilities that include fan zones, guest services, fan embassies, security service support, medical care and media assistance.

Next year, work will also take place at a number of airports across Poland, to deal with the influx of football visitors, and roads and railways are also being improved.

"We estimate that all these improvements would not have happened for another three years if it had not been for the Euro 2012 event," he says.

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