HAMBURG – Germany has declared their readiness for Euro 2024, with the hosts proudly reliant on the infrastructure previously put in place for the 2006 World Cup.
With full stadiums and excellent weather, the global showpiece 17 years ago showcased a unified Germany to the world and became dubbed the “Summer Fairy Tale (Sommermaerchen)” at home.
But with just 6½ months until the Euro 2024 kick-off on June 14, the lead-up has been dominated by talk of the misfiring national side, who have won just three of 11 games in 2023.
While some fear an embarrassing early exit on home soil, Germany has made their readiness to host the tournament a point of pride, albeit amid concerns about delays on the national rail network.
With the country already boasting dozens of world-class venues, the hosts stated proudly that no new stadiums were built ahead of Euro 2024.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters that “it is something special that everything does not have to be newly built and that the stadiums are there”.
Nine of the 12 World Cup 2006 venues will host games at Euro 2024 – Berlin, Munich, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Leipzig and Gelsenkirchen.
Duesseldorf have also been added as a host city.
Most of the stadiums are still in excellent condition, with only Stuttgart’s Neckarstadion undergoing major renovation.
Sustainability has been a major theme in Germany ahead of Euro 2024, particularly amid criticism aimed at the environmental impact of multi-country tournaments.
Scholz in June called the tournament a “home game for Europe”, a sly critique at the trend towards hosting the tournament across more than one country.
Euro 2020, played in 2021 due to the pandemic, took place across 11 different countries from Scotland to Azerbaijan.
In order to limit travel, Germany has created three geographical zones for the group stage at Euro 2024, allowing teams to choose one base camp location.
Teams will play in either northern Germany in Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig, western Germany in Cologne, Duesseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Dortmund, or southern Germany’s host cities of Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.