During September 2019, UEFA will select the host of the UCL final in two years. And according to our predictions, gamblers should place a bet on Saint Petersburg to host the 2021 Champions League final. The city seems to fit well in UEFA’s interests.
This year, the biggest sports event in the world will be played for the first time in Wanda Metropolitano, the stadium of Atlético de Madrid. But organizing a game of such dimensions takes time, so the selection process starts early. In this way, last year, on September 28, UEFA opened the bidding process – for the second time ever – to decide which city will host the UCL final in the next few years. And the Russian Football Union and the Germany Football Association expressed interest in holding the event.
According to our betting predictions, Saint Petersburg has really good chances as opposed to Munich. UEFA is looking for a qualified stadium, while also trying to increase football’s popularity. Thereby, the Gazprom Arena seems to have everything the organization is looking for. In fact, at online sportsbook sites in Russia, the city’s odds of being selected are very high (1.50), whereas the opposite is less likely to happen. Saint Petersburg’s odds of not hosting the event are 2.40 at 1xBET Sportsbook.
With the new stadium, a bet on Saint Petersburg to host the 2021 Champions League is the best choice
In recent years, Russia’s investments in new infrastructures have been very high. And the Gazprom Arena, in Saint Petersburg, is one of the highlights that resulted from those actions.
The construction of the Gazprom Arena finished in 2017. The stadium has a capacity of almost 68,000 people and a privileged location, at the Krestovsky Island. And last year was one of the 12 venues part of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It hosted seven games during the tournament, including a semifinal and Belgium’s 3rd place match against England.
Additionally, the stadium held the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Final. And will be hosting three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. Next year, 13 cities across the continent will host the Cup.
These recent events on the curriculum explain why the Gazprom Arena is definitely a strong candidate to host the 2021 Champions League final at 1xBET Sportsbook.
Gazprom’s sponsorship might dictate the final decision
Russia has been hosting many important sports events lately, mainly football-related competitions. Naturally, this has been subject to debate especially due to its political situation in recent years. However, sports and politics try to stand apart. This is why Russia has been able to keep a predominant position as a host nation.
At the time of the 2014 Winter Olympics, there were a lot of critics regarding the place of the Games. After the Kremlin introduced anti-homosexual laws the year before, LGBT rights in the country became even more weakened. But the Kremlin was smart enough to take advantage of it. They used the tournament to draw the attention away from issues that were damaging Russia’s image. These included the murder attempt of Sergei Skripal and the increase of the retirement age. As the country’s life expectancy is very low, this last one, in particular, resulted in many protests. However, the event shadowed these voices. So, contrary to expectations, the Kremlin was able to boost the country’s international relations.
However, we can’t simply take off the table the fact that Gazprom, besides being one of the largest oil and gas corporations in the world, is also the main sponsor of the UCL. They are the owners of Zenit and the Krestovsky Stadium. The contract ends in 2021 and, despite the sponsorship being very valuable for Gazprom, it is also for UEFA. This is why they will certainly do the best they can to renew it and the next step seems to be to choose the Saint Petersburg’s bid.
UEFA wants to foster football in Eastern Europe
The quality of European football is very unequal. This is reflected every year in the club and national teams’ matches in international competitions. This is why UEFA’s goal in recent years has been to attract more people to the sport in Eastern Europe.
As mentioned above, Russia has been investing large sums of money, building some of the best stadiums in the world. And Gazprom Arena is definitely part of that with its high-tech infrastructure. Additionally, as online sportsbook news sites in Russia report, the 2018 UCL final was in NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, but the last final held in Eastern Europe had been 10 years before, in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.
Now, UEFA is definitely trying to take these big events to new places. This year’s Europa League Cup final will be held in Azerbaijan and next year in Poland. Besides, the Allianz Arena in Munich hosted the 2012 Champions League final. So now, with only these two options, it seems that it is a good opportunity to keep bringing awareness to football in the East.