Wembley Stadium will host its third Champions League final this millennium as UEFA has announced the host venues for three of its upcoming showpiece club football events.
St Petersburg, Munich and London will be the next three host cities of the flagship final, while Istanbul will stage this season’s event, to be held in May 2020. The 2019 final was held in Madrid, and generated a record-breaking 1bn social media interactions.
Wembley last hosted the tournament's final in 2013, when it became the first venue to host the match twice in three years after also staging the 2011 edition. UEFA's decision to bring the 2013 final to London was a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the FA, while the 2023 final will fall on the centenary of the construction of the original Wembley Stadium in 1923.
In addition to the Champions League finals, UEFA has also announced the host cities for the 2021 Europa League final, which will take place in Seville, with the Super Cup later that same year taking place at Belfast’s Windsor Park, which has undergone major redevelopment in recent years.
The announcements came after a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee, where European football’s governing body also announced plans to plant 50,000 trees in each of the host cities for the pan-European EURO 2020 tournament, adding up to a total of 600,000 across the continent. UEFA has also said it will work with sustainability financing solutions company South Pole to invest in gold standard renewable energy projects to help offset the emissions generated by the tournament.
EURO 2020 will take place in 12 cities across Europe, raising sustainability issues around the levels of travel involved, with UEFA estimating that 405,000 tonnes of carbon will be produced by fans and UEFA staff.
Aleksander Ceferin said: “UEFA EURO 2020 is a celebration of European football that will happen right across the continent. The nature of the tournament means there are many benefits over a traditional one. In addition to being able to take the matches to more diverse communities across Europe, there is no need either to build a host of new stadia or the transport links that they need, which carry a huge environmental cost in concrete and other resources.”
“But it also has a cost - with increased travel for fans to watch their teams play. UEFA takes its responsibilities on this seriously and it is right that we offset the carbon emissions that causes. Working with South Pole will help to build gold standard renewable energy projects, which will be of lasting value to the planet."