The Donbass Arena is an Elite category football stadium meeting every UEFA standard.
The Donbass Arena is the first Elite category stadium in Ukraine and Eastern Europe designed and built in accordance with UEFA standards. It had been conceived long before the Pitmen won the UEFA Cup and Ukraine won the EURO 2012 bid.
The Donbass Arena was designed by ArupSport, which was the creative and inspirational force behind the City of Manchester Stadium (Manchester, England), Allianz Arena stadium (Munich, Germany), and Sydney Football Stadium (Sydney, Australia). Turkish company ENKA acted as the prime contractor. Construction began in 2006 and was completed in 2009. To erect the Arena to such a tight schedule over 1,600 people worked on site simultaneously during certain periods.
The opening ceremony was organized by K-Events, headed by its General Producer Marco Balich. The company has organized around 400 shows in Italy and other countries and was named the Best Event Agency at the European BEA awards in 2006, 2007, and 2008, as well as winning in 15 nominations at the Best Event Awards in 2005. K-Events produced the Flag Handover of XIX Olympic Closing Ceremony Salt Lake City in 2002, and came to international acclaim as producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the XX Winter Olympics in Turin in 2006, the IX Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2006.
I think the stadium itself is ready to host European tournament matches even today or tomorrow, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful stadiums in Europe from what I‘ve seen, and I‘ve seen a few. I think it’s really unique, …very modern and it was built from scratch, whilst many other stadiums have been rebuilt or refurbished. But here it’s new, it has its own I would say soul and its own structure – it says something. I am really impressed! I didn’t expect to see this.
Expertise and effort of all those who worked hard to build the stadium and organize the opening ceremony of the 'Diamond of Donetsk' were given the highest appraise. In the year 2010, the Arena received several awards, including the 2009 Top Construction Site award by Donetsk Design & Construction Club, the 2009 Best International Mobotix Project award, and the 2009 Best Construction in Ukraine title. And the Grand Show that had introduced the Donbass Arena to the entire world was voted the Event of the Year by the Stadium Business Awards.
One of the distinguishing features of the Donbass Arena is the 25 ha park area around the stadium. It was designed by experts of the famous German company FAGUS.
The park features over 77,000 plants, with half of them being roses. All the trees, 20 to 30 years of age, were brought from Germany’s oldest plant nurseries of Lappen and Lorberg. The first two oaks in the park were planted by FC Shakhtar players together with the club president Rinat Akhmetov.
The Rock Garden
One of the most curious places in the park is a rock garden - a landscaping element that is completely new to Donetsk. Imposing boulder installations, tall steppe grass, silence and benches - everything you need for a comfortable leisure time.
The rock garden covers a total area of 2,300 sq. m. Dozens of boulders ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 metres in diameter are positioned in the garden’s lows and on its hills, with the aggregate weight of about 1,200 tonnes. The garden offers 165 metres of graceful walkways and 75 granite steps for visitors’ pleasure and convenience.
The arrangements replicating a dry stream bed are located in the north and south ends of the garden. It is worth noting that the streams were built without the use of cement. All the rock elements of the garden boast a natural origin.
Granite Symbol of Donetsk Football
The biggest ever water-driven rotating granite football is the major attraction of the new recreational area. The 28-ton giant was made by German craftsmen using a special granite (Tittlinger). Its incredible dimensions notwithstanding, the ball resembles a classical football with the diameter of 2.7 metres. The grey elements of the surface are made of polished granite, while the black ones have a sandblast finish and acrylic coating. The ball-stand is also impressive weighing 12.5 tonnes and 3,6 metres in diameter.
The giant ball spins under the pressure of two water streams due to its perfectly round shape with deviation of less than 0.1mm. The system is controlled by a special automated programming unit.
Apart from its impressive proportions, the artwork boasts a unique surface design. The granite football features an image of a slag heap and a footballer scoring a goal. The depiction symbolizes the strength of the Pitmen's spirit and intergenerational ties of all Shakhtar fans.
The recreational park area houses a cascade of waterfalls, an artificial lake and dynamically lit fountains for the pleasure of Donetsk residents and visitors.
A pedestrian area in the western part of the park is cut by a large (20x60 m) six-level fountain leading down to the foot of the football Arena. At night, the fountain is illuminated with the lighting controlled by a special equipment allowing the it to be programmed to perform various dynamic lighting scenarios.
Away from the fountain are huge granite steps leading into the depth of the park. This is a favourite leisure place of the local youth.
The perfect arrangement of the park is punctuated by an artificial lake created on the site of a swampy pond that existed here in the previous century. During the construction of the stadium it was cleaned out, its banks strengthened, a water cascade built at the neck, and equipped with special high-tech equipment. The pond's water circulation constitutes about 15,000 cubic metres.
The FC Shakhtar Museum is the biggest sports and interactive museum in Ukraine. In 2012, it was shortlisted among Europe’s top new 45 museums nominated for the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award 2012.
The colourful exhibition of the museum details all stages in the development of the Donetsk team - from its staff representing the mining region to the European level club. The museum’s five historic halls showcase the team’s trophies, the players and coaches’ personal awards, the player kits of different periods, as well as rare historical documents and photographs. The centrepiece of the museum is the UEFA Cup won by the Pitmen back in May 2009, and a 23-metre long Wall of Fame featuring metal-cast palmprints and footprints of Shakhtar's iconic players and coaches.
Through the use of the state-of-the-art entertainment technology, museum visitors can experience a fascinating show on the unique in Ukraine foggy screen. You can enjoy PlayStation games and play interactive football in the playing area. Those wishing to experience the atmosphere of the renowned ‘fifth stand’ (as they used to call the slag heap near the Shakhtar Central Stadium back in the 1950-60s) should visit a cosy cinema hall located in the museum territory.
Walk of Fame
Several names truly stand out in the history of FC Shakhtar. Those are the club legends. The Walk of Fame unveiled in their honour has allocated places for laying the personalised stars - a total of 33 bronze plates. The Walk is located on the south side of the Donbass Arena stadium.
Laying the first stars along with the FC Shakhtar Walk of Fame opening ceremony was held on May 8, 2011, immortalising the names of the 1979 USSR Footballer of the Year and top scorer Vitaliy Starukhin, the head coach of Shakhtar Mircea Lucescu, the former team captain who made 485 appearances for Shakhtar Mikhail Sokolovskiy, and the USSR 1977 Goalkeeper of the Season Yuriy Degterev.
On August 27 of the same year, the fifth star dedicated to the fans of Shakhtar was unveiled. At the solemn ceremony, the key words were spoken by the club president Rinat Akhmetov: "If the team has fans, it means that it has a future!”
The next stars on the Shakhtar's Walk of Fame appeared on May 12, 2013 memorialising the names of the team coach Oleg Oshenkov, who led Shakhtar to two USSR Cup victories, and the Brazilian Jadson, the scorer of the winning goal in the 2009 UEFA Cup Final.
The main criteria underlying the choice of the name to be memorialised on the Walk of Fame include the results and success of the team at the time when a player or coach was on it, their personal achievements, as well as recognition by the fans. The nominees are to be approved by voting of the board of experts’ members.
Hosting Euro 2012 Experience
A separate milestone in the history of the Donbass Arena was Euro 2012. The Pitmen's home stadium hosted five games: three matches of the group stage, quarter-finals and semi-finals of the tournament. Upon the completion, UEFA called the Donbass Arena the best Euro 2012 stadium. Furthermore, the Arena won the Safety & Security Award at the annual ceremony of The Stadium Business Awards 2013, which took place in Manchester. The work of Donetsk experts received the highest praise from the panel of judges for its excellence in force majeure management at the Euro 2012 match between France and Ukraine.
Numbers and Facts
14,283 sq. m - the total area of the glass covered facade of the stadium.
2,482 triple-pane glass units were used for glassing the stadium’s façade.
Over 16,000 sq. m of vertical surfaces are made of glass, totaling 3,108 multiple glass panes.
The underground height of the building constitutes 12m for the parking lot area, 8m for the dressing rooms, and 4m for the media rooms.
54 m - the stadium height from the pitch level to its topmost point.
83,823 sq. m - the total floor area of all the arena's levels.
93% of stands are roof-covered with the exception of only 3,800 seats in the bottom tier.
24 constantly manned first-aid stations (18 permanent and 6 mobile EMS groups).
53 fast-food outlets, a Fan Cafe, 4 Silver bars, 3 restaurants (Diamond, Platinum, Gold), a media cafe and a lounge bar will satisfy any visitor's taste.
2,000 - the stadium's LUX level ensured by 272 high-precision targeting spotlights mounted along the perimeter of the arena's roof.
6,000 ports installed in the stadium for simultaneous network connection.
570 CCTV cameras comprise the stadium's video monitoring system.
588 displays are installed throughout the stadium.
92 sq. m - the area of each of the 2 giant LED screens.
267 m - the total length of the LED advertising boards.
The stadium's logo weighs 50 tonnes being 8 m in height and 14 m in width.
There are 34 staircases throughout the stadium's inner space.
11,978 - the total number of stairs at the stadium. The flights of stairs are comprised of 4,181 steps.
The shortest stairways have only 22 stairs (the sub-stand space on the arena’s western side) while the longest ones have 240 (on the eastern side of the stadium).
The longest stairways are nearly 50m long.
35 stairs form each aisle between the blocks.
550 burners of the arena's heating system produce an aggregate of 22 MW of thermal energy.
Each gas burner weighs 49 kg.
The stadium bowl is divided into 24 heated areas.
The prime cost of heating one spectator seat during the match is about UAH 1.
The system consumes some 2,200-2,300 cubic centimetres of gas per hour.
June 27, 2005 - construction commencement (corresponding contract signed with ENKA company)
The budget including the stadium construction and the surrounding park landscaping - $400m.
Over 160,000 m3 of concrete cast into the building frame.
12,295 tonnes of rebar used for the structure frame.
458,761 m3 of soil excavated to make the foundation pit.
234,376 sq. m - the total construction site area (including mobilization areas).
About 1,200 km of cable laid for various systems.
1,158 days from the construction commencement to the Arena’s opening date.
August 29, 2009 - the stadium's official opening date.
52,898 - the total seating capacity of the stadium.
290 seats for the media, including 152 seats for journalists and 138 seats for TV commentators (an aggregate of 46 broadcast boxes).
196 positions and seats for people with disabilities and their carers (104 and 92 respectively).
The stadium’s 55 corporate boxes can accommodate 915 people.
180 media representatives can be accommodated at the Arena's spacious Conference Room.
The total seating capacity of all the restaurants, bars and cafés of the stadium is 1,830.
The stadium has over 1,000 car parking spaces (including 245 underground).
It takes less than 1 hour for the spectators to occupy all their seats in the stands.
It takes about 8 minutes to evacuate all the spectators.
The pitch size is 105m х 68m.
The area of natural grass surface is 7,992 sq. m, and the artificial turf - 1,877 sq. m.
810 rolls of natural grass (10m long each) were brought from Slovakia by 27 trucks.
26 automatic sprinklers water the pitch.
25 ha - the total park area.
13 ha - the total area of the park lawns.
77,000 plants grow in the park (281 trees and about 35,000 rose bushes).
40.5 tonnes - the total weight of the fountain ball located at the south entrance (including 28 tonnes for the ball made of a single piece of granite and 12.5 tonnes for the stand).
228 m3 of water circulates within the fountain cascade facing Cheliuskintsev St.
15,000 m3 - the water volume in the south pond.
Game: September 27, 2009. Ukrainian Premier League. Matchday 8. Shakhtar 4-0 Obolon.
European cup game: October 1, 2009. The UEFA Europa League. Group stage. Matchday 2. Shakhtar 4-1 Partizan.
Ukraine national football team: November 18, 2009. The 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Ukraine 0-1 Greece.
FC Shakhtar’s international friendly match: July 27, 2011. Shakhtar 1-1 Olympique Lyonnais.
First goal: September 09, 2009. Shakhtar 4-0 Obolon. Penalty kick converted by Jadson (18’).
Hat trick: September 09, 2010. Shakhtar 6-0 Kryvbas. Luiz Adriano (65’, 67’ and 89’).
The UEFA Europa League goal: October 10, 2009. Shakhtar 4-1 Partizan. Own goal scored by Partizan’s Marko Lomic (24’).
The UEFA Champions League goal: September 09, 2010. Shakhtar 1-0 Partizan. Darijo Srna (71’).
Substitution for Shakhtar: September 09, 2009. Shakhtar 4-0 Obolon. Oleksiy Polyanskyi replaced Tomas Hübschman (65’).
The stands heating system launched: December 02, 2011. Ukrainian Premier League. Matchday 19. Shakhtar 5-0 Arsenal.
Penalty shoot-out: June 27, 2012. Euro 2012. Semi-finals. Portugal 0-0 Spain (penalty shoot-out 2-4).
All-time Highs & Records
Highest attendance: September 02, 2012. Ukrainian Premier League. Matchday 8. Shakhtar 3-1 Dynamo. 53,423 spectators.
Highest performance attendance: The Grand Show for celebrating FC Shakhtar's 75th Anniversary with an impressive 53,353 spectators on May 14, 2011.
Highest scoring game: October 05, 2013. Ukrainian Premier League. Matchday 12. Shakhtar 7-0 Arsenal.
Biggest win: October 05, 2013. Ukrainian Premier League. Matchday 12. Shakhtar 7-0 Arsenal.
Top scorer: Luiz Adriano – 38 goals.
Fastest goal: August 04, 2013. Ukrainian Premier League. Matchday 4. Shakhtar 3-1 Dynamo. Darijo Srna (2').
Longest unbeaten run: 35 games.
Longest winning streak: 20 games.
Longest clean-sheet run: 916 minutes.
Longest goal-scoring run: 20 games.
FC Shakhtar match statistics at the Donbass Arena*
Goals in Shakhtar’s matches at the Donbass Arena*
|North Stand goal||South Stand goal|
*as of May 03, 2014