Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

May 30, 2008

Minister of sport on Euro 2012 preparations

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 2:45 am

The Minister of Sport Miroslaw Drzewiecki informed that the modernization of stadiums in Krakow and Chorzow, southern Poland, will be partly financed from the state budget.

The minister reported to the MPs about the progress of preparations for Euro 2012, which is organized by Poland and Ukraine.

Chorzow and Krakow are alternative venues, that is the UEFA might decide to use the stadiums there if facilities in other cities co-organising the Euro are not up to scratch.

The minister announced that the modernization of the stadiums in Krakow and Chorzow will cost 140 mln zloty and 110 mln zloty respectively.

One of the problems before Euro 2012, informed the minister, are not enough hotel rooms for VIPs: Warsaw and Gdansk are each 300 rooms short in four- and five-star hotels, while Poznan is 1100 rooms short.

Drzewiecki reminded that by 2012, the government will build 900 km of high-ways and 2100 km of express roads; 1200 km of rail tracks will be modernized.

The minister stressed that the National Stadium that will be built in Warsaw is a top priority. He informed that the results of the tender for planning the surroundings of the future stadium will be known on Wednesday.

According to the minister, the modernization of stadiums in Krakow, Chorzow and Poznan are to be finished by the middle of 2010. The National Stadium in Warsaw is to be opened by the middle of 2011 and the rest of the Euro 2012 stadiums by the end of 2010. (mo)

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New Twist For Ukraine 2012 Preparations

Filed under: Ukraine — Ivan @ 2:43 am

Poland and Ukraine’s Euro 2012 preparations are still chaotic, with politics hampering urgent work needing done in Kiev…

President Viktor Yushchenko accused Ukranian government officials sabotaging the reconstruction of the main stadium hosting Euro 2012 matches, telling his prime minister to make sure the project goes ahead.

UEFA President Michel Platini was dismayed by the slow pace of developments when he visited Kiev in February and said that his next visit in July would be “decisive”. The Ukraine are co-hosting with Poland.

Yushchenko wrote to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko saying that no action had been taken to proceed with the renovation of Kiev’s 84,000-seat Olympic stadium – to be used for the final – work supposed to be carried out by a Taiwanese firm.

The President’s statement said: “Delays and what amounts to sabotage by oficials at the Sports Ministry could disrupt the renovation schedule at Ukraine’s main stadium.

“I am asking you to intervene personally to immediately correct the situation, avoid an international scandal and ensure that preparations for Euro 2012 proceed in timely and reliable fashion.”

He continued, telling the Prime Minister that it’s: “urgent to dismiss officials who are seeking to review the results of the tender and block the start of work, thereby causing considerable harm to the country’s image”.

The £150m reconstruction project is set for further delays as Arsenal Kiev have revealed that ministry officials will allow the club to use the Olympic stadium until October, indicating that the work will not be started until after then.

Furthermore, airports, rail networks, roads and hotels all require upgrading before Uefa will be satisfied with the nation’s efforts.

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Filed under: World Soccer — Ivan @ 2:42 am

The football season in domestic European leagues is over and national cup finals have all been played out, which can mean only one thing – it is summer and time for Euro 2008, hosted by Austria and Switzerland on June 7 to 29.

Every four years, Europe’s best teams come together for the European championship finals to decide who will hold the title of the continent’s best. The winner gets the bragging rights and the Henry Delaunay trophy, named after the French secretary general of Uefa, the game’s governing body in Europe, who tirelessly promoted the idea, but did not live to see it become reality.

Even though much has been written about club tournaments – the bigger European leagues and the Champions League – eclipsing international football, the European championships have always raked in solid crowds and high viewer ratings for the television companies, second only to the World Cup. As a consequence, the race to host the tournament is highly contested, with seven different bidders having vied for the 2008 tournament. Austria and Switzerland won the honour, ahead of Hungary and the joint bid by Greece and Turkey, who also made the final cut. It will be only for the second time in 13 editions that two countries are organising the event together, with the Netherlands and Belgium doing so in 2000.

Since the European championship finals format change in 1996, when the number of participants doubled to 16, and with another change to raise the figure to 24 being discussed by Uefa, the trend for multiple countries picked looks to continue. With Portugal, who hosted the event in 2004, not yet fully recovering its expenses to upgrade stadium infrastructure, tandem bids offer the opportunity to reduce costs and raise overall revenues, both from the tournament itself and from increased tourist interest in its aftermath. The tournament in 2012 will be held in Poland and Ukraine.

The event’s high profile and numerous sponsorships have allowed Uefa to also increase prize money by more than 40 per cent to 184 million euro. Just for appearing in the tournament, the football federations of the 16 countries will receive 7.5 million euro, with additional bonuses awarded for wins, draws and reaching the later stages of the competition. The winners will receive a guaranteed 20 million euro, rising to 23 million euro if they also win each of their group stage matches.

After two years of qualifying, the field of challengers has been narrowed to 14 teams, who are joined by the two host countries. Split into four groups of four, the teams will play each other once, with the top two in each group advancing to the knockout stage. With a week left before the start of the tournament, the teams involved are busy with final preparations – trimming down their squads to the maximum of 23 players allowed, playing last-minute friendlies to keep those players fit and trying out new line-ups and tactics. Participants will arrive at their respective headquarters between June 1 and June 5, with most teams scheduling at least one training session open to the public. Only Germany and Poland opted to train behind closed doors throughout the tournament. Spain is their polar opposite, offering a limited number of fans the opportunity to watch them train every day.

And fans there shall be aplenty. Hundreds of thousands will make the pilgrimage to the two Alpine countries to watch the games and those without tickets – to submerge themselves in the live atmosphere. It is unquestionably the football event of the year and the second biggest sports event, topped only by the Beijing Summer Olympics in August.

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May 29, 2008

Sejm to debate state of readiness to host Euro 2012

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 2:40 am

On Friday the Sejm is to hold a debate concerning the state of preparations to host the 2012 European Football Championships

On Friday the Sejm is to hold a debate concerning the state of preparations to host the 2012 European Football Championships. According to the media this might be a heated discussion as the ruling coalition plans to brag about its successes while representatives of the opposition claim that nothing is being done.

“Sports Minister Miros?aw Drzewiecki will present a report on the preparations which contains everything that we sent to UEFA”, said the Sports Ministry spokesperson Ma?gorzata Pe?echaty.

Minister Drzewiecki will reveal information concerning the construction of stadiums, centers for the players, as well as roads, airports and hotels.

Poland will construct six stadiums, out of which the National Stadium will be fully financed by the state treasury, while the remaining five will be in 1/3 covered by state funds.

The construction of roads seems to be the biggest problem, with PM Donald Tusk announcing that a part of the highways might not be built as they could be replaced with express ways.

Source: Rzeczpospolita

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May 27, 2008

Modernization of Lviv airport for Euro-2012 finals to cost $200 million. Government can cough up $70 million

Filed under: Ukraine — Ivan @ 2:38 am

The decision by the president and cabinet to transfer the Lviv airport to state-owned property was timely and correct, airport managers and employees believe. In this capacity, the airport will operate more effectively. This year, the government allotted $14 million for its modernization. In total, to prepare the airport for Euro-2012 finals, $200 million is needed, with $70 million provided by the state, Lviv international airport director Oleksandr Zahreva told ZIK May 27.

“In many countries, strategic airports are owned by the state. However, the land on which they are built can belong to a city community. Sometimes, it is prone with conflict, as the real owners of airports cannot be established in Kharkiv and Odesa. That is why the government ruled to transfer 26 Ukraine’s airports to state property,” Zahreva said.

The modernization of the Lviv airport can be shouldered only by the government, Oleksandr Zahreva said,as huge funding is required to implement the modernization project for Euro-2012. In 2008, the cabinet allotted $70 mn to construct a new runway and modernize the airport building.

A new terminal will have to be built to handle up to 1,000 passengers an hour. To modernize the old and build a new terminal, $90 million is needed. The airport authorities will try to attract foreign investors, O. Zahreva assured.

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May 22, 2008

Lviv city authorities feet-dragging on Euro-2012 stadium construction

Filed under: Ukraine — Ivan @ 2:37 am

To begin the stadium construction in Lviv, a design project is to be drawn up and submitted to Kyiv for evaluation. “We expect the evaluation will take less time and we can get the final permit to start construction by late summer, Andry Pavliv, director of city construction department at the Lviv city council, says.

According to A. Pavliv, the final version of the design project will be completed in late June. As the project costs more that 100,000 hryvnia, its design project must be examined by experts in Kyiv. This procedure will take up 30 to 45 days. Given this, Andry Pavliv is confident the stadium construction can be started in late summer, not in December, as some officials have stated.

Meanwhile, director of the Arnika company that is in charge of the design project jointly with Austria’s Albert Wimmer Design Bureau, says the construction will be started in December in line with the contract.

A tender to build a stadium in Lviv was won by Austria’s Alpina Co. However, the name of an investor is not yet known.

Comment by ZIK

May 21, Lviv council’s construction department approved the stadium design project.

May 20, head of Lviv council Euro-2012 department Oleh Zasadny said the stadium must be completed by June 2010. It takes 20 to 24 months to build such a stadium. We can start construction in November-December 2008, and it won’t be late. UEFA has nothing against such schedule.

Recall, in October 2007, Oleh Zasadny told ZIK the construction of the Euro-2012 stadium in Lviv may be started in March-April 2008. Simultaneously, Lviv Mayor Sadovyj confirmed in 2007 the construction will begin in the spring of 2008.

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May 20, 2008

Construction of Euro-2012 stadium in Lviv to kick off only in December

Filed under: Stadiums,Ukraine — Ivan @ 2:35 am

A stadium in Lviv to host the Euro-2010 finals is to be completed by June 2010. The construction project will take 20 to 24 months to implement. UEFA has approved such schedule, head of Lviv city council Euro-2012 department Oleh Zasadny told journalists May 20.

We live in a law-abiding state, and no one cancelled the time-taking permits procedures. All the required documents of the design project have been submitted to the ministry of emergencies and the sanitary service of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the cabinet promised to simplify investment procedures, but nothing has been done yet. That is why we have appealed to the oblast government to petition the economy ministry to accelerate the issuance of permits, Oleh Zasadny explained.

In October 2007, Oleh Zasadny told ZIK that the stadium construction would start in March-April 2008. Simultaneously, during the forum of investors in Lviv in the fall of 2007, Mayor Sadovyj assured that the construction would begin in the spring of 2008.

Comment by ZIK

“Zasadny assured me that Euro-2012 stadium construction will start in July, but I felt that he sounded very pessimistic,” said Lviv lawmaker and head of city council commission on sports Yury Kardashevsky, speaking to ZIK May 20.

“When I asked Zasadny why the start of the construction was rescheduled from June to July, I got the impression that city officials can’t wait to see Euro-2012 tournament moved away from Lviv,” the lawmaker noted.

Yury Kardashevsky said that only preparatory design work is being done by the Alpina company, while it is still unclear where the funding for the stadium construction will come from.

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May 14, 2008

Hospitality Industry on the Rise

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 2:30 am

Poland’s hospitality industry enjoyed its third consecutive positive year in 2007. The Polish economy faired well, with healthy growth, a high level of foreign direct investment, and unemployment falling to 11 percent. Arrivals to Poland in 2007 were up by around 5 percent to 16.7 million tourists.

Last year’s occupancies continued to grow at a moderate level. Most major cites saw an increase of demand in the business and Meetings/Incentive Travel/Conferences/Events (MICE) sectors.

The good and the bad
The good news is that GDP growth was around 6.3 percent last year, unemployment went down to 11 percent, FDI approached 12.5 billion euros, wages rose by 11 percent, and inflation was manageable at 3.5 percent.

The Warsaw Stock Exchange grew from a market capitalization of 170 billion euros to 280 billion euros at the end of 2007. Eighty-one new companies were listed on the trading floor.

Poland won a bid to host the UEFA Euro 2012 European soccer championships jointly with Ukraine.

The bad news is the cost of energy increased, accompanied by higher costs of construction, a shortage of labor, inefficiency in infrastructure projects, and poor absorption of European Union funds.

Hospitality Industry Activity by City

Warsaw’s overall occupancy rate was 72 percent (unchanged compared to 2006). The five-star hotel sector, however, experienced particularly healthy growth, with a 70-percent occupancy rate and average daily room rate (ADR) of 108 euros. Revenue per available room (RevPar) in the five-star hotel sector grew 11.3 percent year on year. This is a clear sign that the five-star segment is on the mend, particularly if we consider that the Hilton Warsaw opened in the middle of 2007.

New openings during 2007 included the new Hilton Warsaw and the Holiday Inn Conference and Spa Resort in Józefów near Warsaw.

Two five-star boutique hotels, a 400-room three-star System Hotel property, and a 250-room hotel are still to be opened at Ok?cie Terminal.

In a major transaction in the hotel business last year, the Król Kazimierz Hotel in Kazimierz Dolny not far from Warsaw changed hands for 19 million euros.

Pozna? showed the poorest results of all major cities in Poland. The occupancy rate for the city was 48.5 percent and the estimated ADR was 62 euros. Some experts say the city, the fifth largest city in Poland, needs to create a brand and a clear plan to promote itself. The four-star Andersia Hotel managed by BBI opened in September. A new NH Hotel and an Andel’s property are on the way.

This city again showed great improvement on occupancy as well as RevPar in 2007, which came in at 67.8 percent. The hotel sector will continue to do well; the city has done a great job with its branding and promotion initiatives and also made a tremendous, albeit unsuccessful, effort in the bid to host the Expo 2012 World Exhibition.

New projects in the works are the 240-room Hilton five-star hotel and a new Sheraton project.

For the second year in a row, Cracow continued its growth in occupancy and RevPar, fairing best of all Polish cities. Across all hotel categories, an average occupancy rate of 77 percent was achieved, and an ADR of 87 euros. The five-star segment, however, produced figures of around 78 percent and 109 euros respectively.

A new 180-room Hilton Garden Inn is under construction, and at least three new hotels in the three- and four-star categories are expected to be built, including a new Park Inn Hotel.

The city continues to develop the hotel sector. The Manufaktura shopping center, the Special Economic Zone and manufacturing projects such as the Gillette factory and the opening of the Dell plant precipitated a great amount of business room nights in 2007. Across all sectors, the occupancy rate in ?ód? was just over 54 percent, and the achieved average rate just under 53 euros. ?ód? mayor Jerzy Kropiwnicki invested in the first ever BBC Worldwide campaign in September to attract more tourists to the city. This promotion campaign was called “Would You in ?ód??”

In a key transaction last year, the city’s Grand Hotel was sold for 20 million euros.

A 167-room four-star Manufaktura Andel’s Hotel will open in December this year. New Hilton and Campanile properties are in the works.

Gda?sk, Sopot and Gdynia (Tricity)
Gda?sk faired well in 2007 and showed an occupancy rate of 69 percent with an ADR of 77 euros.

A new 150-room Hilton is under construction, along with a Sheraton in Sopot, and a Radisson SAS in Gda?sk (which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2009).

This city is finally coming out of the doldrums, with a steady progression in occupancies and trading levels in the existing hotels. There is a newfound enthusiasm in the local business community, and the city’s authorities are aggressively promoting Szczecin among both foreign and Polish investors.

The city finished 2007 with an occupancy rate of 60 percent at an ADR of 50 euros.

Trends and Forecasts
As the country prepares to host the Euro 2012 tournament, it needs to build some 2,000 km of new freeways in just 54 months. Poland also needs to repair and renovate another 2,000 km of roads around the six host cities. Forty new hotels need to be built.

Some 1.2 billion euros will be invested in the construction and modernization of stadiums, sports villages and training camps for the 16 teams. Poland will also invest 8 billion euros in roads, public transportation, security systems and signage. Some 2 billion euros will be invested in airports.

At least five cities will have modern stadiums with multi-use congress, conference and exhibition venues. These huge investment projects will continue a commercial life well after the Euro 2012 tournament.

Poland’s entry to the Schengen zone late last year was a milestone event for the country. It will surely influence the positive flows of cross border visitors and business investments, hence the faster growth of the hotel sector in Poland.

EU infrastructure funds will be a key driver of the Polish economy, as will the growing low-cost airline traffic. Together, these forces will have a great impact on the accommodation business.

At least five major cities in Poland need to develop world-class multi-functional congress, conference and exhibition venues. These facilities are in fact required to help all sectors grow, not just hospitality, providing places where people can meet, show, trade and network. This is where hotel chains are being encouraged to invest and develop new facilities to cater to the MICE sector.

Gated communities, golf-and-country clubs and spas are just three types of products now coming to various regions of Poland.

There are optimistic horizons for globally branded two-, three- and four-star products in most regions, towns and cites.

Newly improved laws concerning tender procedures and land ownership should greatly improve Poland’s ability to build much-needed roads and highways in the next five years.

Municipal governments are expected to accelerate the absorption of EU funds for infrastructure projects in their areas, combined with Euro 2012 projects, and the country should see a speedier rate of construction of roads, highways, airports, bridges and railway lines. The demand for hotel rooms and hospitality services is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Alex Kloszewski Director of the Hospitality Department at Colliers International

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