South East Wales

Champions League final in Cardiff: What you need to know

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Media caption200 million will watch Champions League final from Cardiff

Cardiff is preparing to host the Champions League final on 3 June - the biggest single sporting event in the UK after the Olympics.

Preparations have been under way for more than six months and changes will be noticed around the city throughout May until after the event itself.

So what do you need to know if you live in the area or are planning to come to Wales' capital for the event?

Accommodation for travelling fans

Image copyright Andrew Davis/Geograph

Hotel rooms in Cardiff are all booked up and a camp site is being set up in Pontcanna Fields to offer affordable accommodation to visitors.

The camp site, which will feature pre-pitched camping and glamping facilities, will start setting up on 22 May and will operate between 31 May and 5 June.

Tom Legg, from the FAW, said it was known accommodation would be a problem as Cardiff has just 4,000 hotel rooms compared with, for example, 135,000 in Berlin which has previously hosted the final.

He said visitors would also be staying in Bristol, Birmingham and Swansea, and coach travel would be provided to Cardiff.

Residents and businesses

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Claire Moggridge from Cardiff council said security infrastructure would be similar to that seen during 2014's Nato summit in Newport

Claire Moggridge, Cardiff council's highways network manager, said security infrastructure would be similar to that seen when the Nato summit. came to south Wales in August 2014.

The Inner Secure Area is a safe zone around the stadium where security operations will be at an extremely high level and residents living there have been advised of drop-in sessions where they can voice any concerns.

Road closures on 3 June will be far wider than those for any event seen at the stadium before.

The infrastructure needed to host the match will start being set up from 17 May and is expected to have all been removed by 12 June.

The first place to be affected will be Coopers Field, where the Champions Village will be set up.

Image copyright FAW

A temporary pedestrian footbridge will be installed over Castle Street, meaning it will be closed from 31 May to 5 June.

And from midnight before the event, the full city centre road closures will be in place.

Ms Moggridge said the council had been meeting with residents and businesses since the end of March to discuss any concerns they might have, such as deliveries of fresh food and waste management.

"There is a wedding in City Hall on the day of the final and they found out a couple of months ago," she said. "They'd been planning it for two years and we've managed to facilitate them."

During the four days of the fans' festival there will also be extensive road closures in Cardiff Bay.

Travel

Image caption There will be 60,000 post-match rail journeys available - 15,000 more than during the Rugby World Cup

Tom Legg, from the FAW, said not knowing who will be in the final meant transport arrangements had been "a big challenge" and six different transport plan scenarios were currently being worked on.

He said: "We knew Cardiff faced a challenge with 170,000 visitors on match day - 100,000 non-ticketed and 70,000 at the stadium.

"In addition we've got the 50,000 nationally on the network going about their daily routine."

He said the FAW wanted to provide real time travel information and a transport app was being developed to provide people with information and updates.

"We also knew 11,000 parking spaces were needed, more than has been needed before, and we've been working with different land owners in the city to get to that level. We'll be pre-selling spaces from 20 April," Mr Legg added.

"If it's two continental teams [in the final], 22,500 passengers will be coming in by air to Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham airports. Coaches have been put on to help them get to Cardiff."

The over-riding message: "Pre-book travel and accommodation to avoid any disappointment."

  • The M4 and all the main roads into Cardiff will be at their busiest from 10:00 to 20:00 on 3 June and again from 22:00 to 03:00 on 4 June. People are urged to avoid the motorway if possible for the whole of match day
  • Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, and Cardiff Bay railway stations are expected to be exceptionally busy all day until 04:00 on 4 June
  • Cardiff Central Station will only be open for mainline services towards London, the Midlands and west Wales over this period, so customers for local Cardiff and valleys services are to use Queen Street Station
  • There will be 60,000 post-match rail journeys available - 15,000 more than during the Rugby World Cup. This will include 21 high-speed train services to London.
  • A total of 1,250 coaches will be offering direct coach routes from more than 30 towns and cities across England as well as airport transfers.
Image copyright National Stadium of Wales

A website has been set up with information regarding the event and people can also raise any concerns by contacting @cardiff17travel on Twitter.

Security

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Supt Steve Furnham said the security fence seen when the Nato summit came to south Wales would not be making a reappearance

Twenty-five police officers, led by Supt Steve Furnham, are currently working on security planning for the event. This number will double closer to the day.

Supt Furnham said 1,500 officers from across the UK, including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, would police the event itself.

He said security was on a similar scale to the Nato summit, held in Newport in August 2014, but the "Nato fence" would not be making a come back.

"There will be significant changes people will see in and around the city to ensure safety and security, counter terrorism measures will be in place and planned for," he said.

"There will be a ring of steel, significant road closures to ensure the safety of people.

"There will also be significant changes to the security operation in and around the stadium."

Supt Furnham said background checks were being carried out on 12,000 people working in and around the stadium and other locations, by Greater Manchester Police.

UEFA Champions Festival

Image copyright Cardiff City Council
Image caption An aerial view of the planned Champions Festival

The four-day free family festival will run from 1 to 4 June, but will not be screening the final.

It will be based on Roald Dahl Plass, in the Wales Millennium Centre and in the Norwegian Church.

A large Champions Main Stage will host global and local artists, DJs and bands each day.

A floating five-a-side pitch will also be installed in the bay and will host the UEFA Ultimate Champions Match on 2 June, featuring legends of football and community games.

The UEFA Champions Gallery, a museum celebrating the Champions League's history will be opened in the Wales Millennium Centre.

The Pierhead building will be transformed into an interactive Virtual Champions Arena, offering a virtual reality experience.

Image copyright Cardiff City Council

UEFA Champions Village and UEFA Football Village

The Champions Village in Coopers Field will be the biggest official fan zone, hosting 7,000 guests, and the Football Village in Cardiff Castle grounds will host 2,000 guests.

Both will open at 16:00 on Men's Final Day.

The council has said it will fully reinstate any affected grass areas.

Image copyright Steve Daniels/Geograph

Women's Final

The UEFA Women's Final will be held at Cardiff City Stadium on 1 June with a 19:45 kick-off.

Tickets are said to be priced to allow as many people as possible to experience a UEFA final.

Clubs in Wales will be offered subsidised coach travel to the Female Football Festival and final.

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