A month-long bout of football fever is set to engulf vast swaths of Europe, as the series of soccer matches making up the UEFA European Football Championship play out in cities across host nation France. For the first time ever, 24 sides will contest the UEFA European Championship: previous editions of the quadrennial tournament involved 16 national teams. Host cities include Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
Group stages commence June 10 with a match between host nation France and Romania and are followed by daily matches starting at 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Group stages conclude on June 22 and are followed by the knock-out rounds. UEFA champion will be determined by the final match slated for July 10 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
No tickets? No worries. The games will be shown at pubs, restaurants, beer gardens and other venues throughout the continent. In Germany, another great way to experience the love shown to the country’s national team is to attend a public viewing, events in which city parks, stadiums or other sites set up huge screens and broadcast the games live. Public viewing events take place when the national team plays; in some cases, other country’s matches are shown as well. Match days of Germany are June 12, 16 and 21. Sites for public viewing are often referred to as fan villages, some of which charge modest entry fees. You’ll find venues to watch the game in the company of thousands in the following cities:
Berlin; Fan Park between Brandenburg Gate and the Siegessaeule;
Cologne: in the vicinity of the Lanxess Arena;
Frankfurt: Commerzbank Arena;
Goeppingen: EWS Arena;
Hannover: Kia Fan Arena;
Mainz: Coface Arena;
Munich: Olympia Park;
Nuremberg: EM Fan Park, Nuremberg Airport;
Recklinghausen: Kia Arena.
Other cities closer to our homes such as Kaiserslautern, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden have not publicized plans to host large-scale public viewing events, but to find a local bar or restaurant showing the game, visit the website www.fussballgucken.info and enter the name of your home town (German only). While these lists aren’t exhaustive, they will get you started.