While exploring central Kiev, I walked to the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, the official home of the Ukrainian national football team, the unofficial home of Dynamo Kiev, and where the Euro 2012 Final was held. It’s a huge stadium that’s the second largest in Eastern Europe, seating over 70,000.
The stadium was opened in 1923 and once had a capacity of over 100,000. It has been renovated a few times, most recently between 2008 and 2011. In addition to football matches, the stadium also hosts concerts. It’s located on Troitska Square.
The Dinamo Kiev Museum is attached to the official team store and charges admission of 5 UAH (as of May 2013). It was all in Ukrainian, but I speak football so I managed to get by.
There were also several interesting looking trophies on display, including the 1974-75 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
As I was leaving the museum I noticed there were stadium tours. The next one was in 2 hours, so I took a long lunch break before the tour. I returned to the stadium just in time. Tours for adults are 55 UAH (as of February 2017) and run daily (except for event days) at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and was done in Russian and English.
The tour started outside the stadium where the guide gathered everyone and gave a quick introduction. We then entered the stadium through the Olympic Court, which is an atrium with a glass ceiling. Special events are held in this hall.
Next, we were taken to a room used as a gallery. There were several paintings of players on the wall, each one signed by the player depicted. There was also a model of the stadium.
From there, we walked through the corridors to the press room, where players and coaches are interviewed after the game. The room has a turf surface and players also use it for training.
The team locker room is attached to the press room. The players’ jerseys were neatly hung up for the next game.
A jacuzzi, showers, and the trainer’s tables were also in the locker room.
From there, it was through the tunnel and onto the field. It was quite dramatic to walk onto the pitch in such an enormous stadium.
While we were only allowed to walk to the edge of the track and touch the field, we were given the opportunity to sit on the benches to see what the stadium looks like from that perspective.
The last part of the tour was to have a seat near the VIP section and admire the view and the roof. The views were excellent from these seats, and I ended up having a good laugh with an animated Russian guy who was the life of the tour.
While seeing the stadium from a insider’s perspective was great, I had to go to a game to get the full experience. After the tour was over, I bought a ticket for a game a few days later to watch Dynamo Kiev play Illichivets Mariupol.