According to reports, Istanbul had only considered hosting one of either the Olympic Games, or the Euro 2020 Finals, so now that the Olympic Games has been decided, the Turkish metropolitan city is eyeing the Euros and is set to compete against London and Wembley for rights to host finals.
UEFA President Michel Platini has previously stated in interviews that he would back Turkey should Istanbul’s Olympic bid prove to be unsuccessful, when asked if he would vote for Turkey’s bid for the Euro 2020 Final, Platini said in January: “As far as I am concerned, yes.”
The 2020 Euro Finals will be the first time in history that the competition is set to be staged at various nations across Europe, rather than just the one nation hosting the competition as a whole – 13 cities will be chosen to host several games; marking the 2020 Euro Finals as a chance for Europe to show solidarity and put on a spectacle for the world to enjoy. Final bids by countries have to be submitted by 25 April 2014, with the announcements set to take place on 25 September 2014.
Would Istanbul make a good host for the Euro 2020 Finals?
The short answer to this is absolutely yes. Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city, complete with almost 14 million residents and years steeped in history and culture. Istanbul is the business hub that connects the East to the West – the city is constantly moving forward and evolving into a metropolis for business, tourism, and growth.
With many famous landmarks, neighbourhoods, hotels, and facilities for tourists and travellers, it would make sense for UEFA to select Istanbul for the finals, simply because the city is pretty much ready to host the Finals without any development and improvements needed – not that there wouldn’t be any developments of course.
What would this mean for Istanbul?
Should Istanbul be granted rights to host the Finals, you could expect to see rapid development and expansion of the city’s public transport links – improving the sufficient metro system and also taking measures to ensure traffic levels are well managed during the Finals.
With a third airport set to open in the city by 2017, Istanbul would easily be able to cope with the influx of tourists and travellers looking to watch the Finals. The third airport is initially set to cater for up to 90 million passengers yearly, with future improvements set to make it the largest airport in the world seeing over 150 million passengers pass through per year – this is just an example of the current development being undertaken in the growing city.
So, will Istanbul host the Euro 2020 Final?
All the signs at the moment are certainly positive, backing from UEFA President Michel Platini has certainly helped the case – Platini has a history of getting what he wants as President of UEFA, and there is no doubt that Istanbul would put on a spectacular spectacle hosting the Finals. The city is ready, the people are ready, Turkey is ready, UEFA is ready – this could be Turkey’s time.
Should Istanbul host the Finals, the real winners will be those currently living in Istanbul or planning to move there in the future – the development of infrastructure and advancement of services can only mean positives for the city and those who live in it.
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