For the first time the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League campaign will be decided in Azerbaijan as the Baku Olympic Stadium stages this showpiece. The venue, opened in 2015, will also host three games at UEFA EURO 2020.
The stadium has a capacity of nearly 70,000 and anywhere near that figure would break the one-off final record for the competition of 62,000, set when Parma played Marseille in Moscow in 1999.
Here are a few key things to remember:
Plan your journey in advance.
Don’t bring a bag to the stadium.
Download the ticketing app in advance.
Arrive three hours before kick-off.
Baku is …
• The capital city of Azerbaijan.
• The lowest-lying capital city in the world – 28 metres below sea level.
• Windy: its name is derived from the ancient Persian ‘Bādkube’ (pounding winds) – hence the local nickname, ‘City of Winds’.
• A city founded on oil, which has been exported from here since the 19th century.
• Twinned with Dakar, Naples, Houston, Bordeaux, Kyiv, Haifa and Rio de Janeiro, among others.
• A former host city of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship, the UEFA Futsal Cup finals, and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, and the venue for the 2019 UEFA Europa League final.
Where is it
The biggest city in the Caucasus region, Baku is also the largest urban base on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It is nearly 2,000km from both Moscow and Istanbul, 9,000km east of New York, and 5,500km west of Beijing.
Getting to and around Baku
Heydar Aliyev International Airport lies 20km northeast of Baku, a 45-minute bus ride from the city’s central rail station. The city has a two-line metro train system, which can shuttle visitors to the picturesque Old Town as well as within walking distance of the Olympic Stadium, with bus and taxi services relatively inexpensive.
Baku Olympic Stadium
• Completed in February 2015, Baku Olympic Stadium (Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu, in Azeri) can seat nearly 70,000 and was first used for the European Games in the summer of that year.
• The stadium will stage games at UEFA EURO 2020.
• The Azerbaijan national team are the stadium’s principal tenants.
• The President of Azerbaijan, and those of FIFA and UEFA, attended a ceremony to lay the first stone of the stadium on 6 June 2011, as part of celebrations marking 100 years of Azerbaijani football.
• The venue is close to the shores of Lake Boyukshor; literal translation: ‘Big Salty Waters’.
Football in Baku
Football in the city
Azerbaijan’s footballing stock has been on the rise, with Neftçi, Qarabağ and out-of-towners Gabala all playing UEFA Europa League group matches in Baku, and Qarabağ reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2017/18, the first Azerbaijani team to qualify. Founded in 1937, Neftçi were long the most successful club in Baku, their rivalry with Khazar Lankaran considered the nation’s Böyük Oyun (great game). Qarabağ currently play in the city, with İnter Bakı and Zirä also competing for fans’ attention in Baku.
Fan meeting points
Arsenal FC supporters:
- Meeting point at Qış parkı (Winter Park).
- Supporters landing at Heydar Aliyev International Airport via chartered flight will be brought by coaches to coach park P22, next to the stadium.
- From there, they can take a frequent free shuttle bus to Winter Park.
Chelsea FC supporters:
- Meeting point at Sahil bağı (Sahil Park).
- Supporters landing at Heydar Aliyev International Airport via chartered flight will be brought by coaches to coach park P21, next to the stadium.
- From there, they can take a frequent free shuttle bus to Sahil Park.
Fan meeting points will be in urban squares and parks, conveniently located at walking distance to the fan festival and the city’s main attractions.
You will find food and beverage facilities, toilets and transport information at the fan meeting points, which are surrounded by many bars and restaurants.
All fan shuttle buses to Baku Olympic Stadium will depart from fan meeting points. So if you plan to explore the city of Baku during the day, please return to your fan meeting point with enough time to get to the stadium before the pre-match ceremony. Take 30 minutes for transfer to the stadium into account. Please follow all instructions that you receive from staff and volunteers at your fan meeting point and at the bus stops.
2019 UEFA Europa league fan festival
The UEFA Europa League Fan Festival is next to the Puppet Theatre, found on the Baku Boulevard. With more entertainment, music and football activities than ever before, this will be the place to be in Baku during the week of the UEFA Europa League final, and it is free.
- Have your photo taken with the UEFA Europa League trophy against the impressive backdrop of Baku’s Flame Towers.
- Enjoy some of best local DJs, bands and performers on the festival’s main stage.
- Put your skills to the test in various football activities and the thrilling virtual reality zone.
- Try to win incredible prizes and UEFA Europa League souvenirs for all the family.
- In the children’s zone, children can jump on a bouncy castle, get their faces painted and practice their football skills in the shooting range.
Opening days and hours:
- 25–27 May: 2pm – 10pm
- 28 May: 12pm – 10pm
- 29 May: 10am – 10pm
The fan festival will bring a carnival atmosphere to Baku’s city centre, with activities for all the family.
Don’t miss it!
All fans with a digital match ticket must complete the following steps before they arrive at the stadium:
- You must have a mobile phone running on iOS or Android.
- The Europa League Final – Tickets app must be installed on the phone.
- The activation code received via email must be entered in the app.
- Your mobile phone number must be entered in the app.
- The terms and conditions box must be ticked.
- The mobile ticket notification email must have been received.
Upon arrival at the stadium, fans with a mobile ticket must follow the process outlined below:
- Activate Bluetooth
- Open the app
- Show phone
- Ticket ready, go to gate
Access to the stadium
Access to the stadium is permitted only with a valid match ticket. Everyone of any age needs to have a valid match ticket to enter the stadium. Tickets cannot be purchased at the stadium.
Please keep your ticket in a safe place and have it ready for inspection as you approach the stadium.
Security checks will be made at all entrances. Please follow the guidance of the security personnel.
Only bags up to 29.7cm x 21.0cm x 21.0cm (similar to a piece of A4 paper) can be brought inside the stadium after security checks. Any bags larger than this or belongings with content forbidden under the stadium rules will not be allowed in and must be stored outside the venue in the designated deposit or in a vehicle.
Local legislation and stadium rules do not allow items including the following into the stadium:
- alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating or dangerous substances;
- explosives, fireworks, firecrackers, flares, smoke bombs or other pyrotechnic devices;
- racist, political, religious or offensive banners, posters or stickers;
- large flags or oversized banners (larger than 2,0 x 1,5m);
- substances, laser pointers, other strong lighting devices or other objects (including all bottles) which can threaten spectators’ health or endanger the safety or security of the event.
Entry to the match will be denied to anyone who:
- does not have a valid match ticket;
- is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances;
- does not comply with the stadium rules or the instructions of the security personnel.
- Once ticket holders pass the turnstiles, if they leave, no re-entry will be allowed.
After the match
Leaving the stadium
The most convenient way to leave the stadium after the match will depend on where your seat is and where you are going. Please follow stadium signage and the guidance of volunteers to get to your transport options. Match ticket holders can use public transport free of charge after the match.
If you are staying in Baku:
- If your seat is in blocks 1–11: leave the stadium via the North ramp and use the shuttle buses to the Gara arayev and 28 May metro stations.
- If your seat is in blocks 12–22: leave the stadium via the South ramp and use metro line 1 from Koroğlu metro station.
If you are leaving Baku:
- If you are on a scheduled flight from Heydar Aliyev International Airport early in the morning: leave the stadium via the South Ramp and use the airport shuttle, departing from Koroglu metro station.
- If you are on a charter flight for Arsenal FC: leave the stadium via the North Ramp, go to coach park P22 and wait in your coach until your assigned departure time.
- If you are on a charter flight for Chelsea FC: leave the stadium via the South Ramp, go to coach park P21 and wait in your coach until your assigned departure time.
The P21 and P22 coach parks will be equipped with food and beverage options and toilets. If you have any questions, please speak to your tour operator or volunteers in the area. The closest taxi and private hire pick-up points will be next to Koroğlu metro station. To use these, please leave the stadium via the South ramp.
The most convenient way to leave the stadium after the match will depend on where your seat is and where you are going to.