Staging of Euro-2012 finals has brought Ukraine the experience in management of high-level tournaments, a number of new infrastructure facilities and inflow of foreign tourists. The next big event our country will hold is Europebasket-2015 - one of the top five biggest sport events in the world. Kyiv had won the tender for tournament before Euro-2012 took place, at the end of 2011. The motto of Ukrainian request - "We are ready!"- is called to point out recent experience in organization of football championship.

The event will last 20 days and includes 90 matches among 24 national teams. More than one million of fans are expected to come to the games.

Goals are clear, tasks are set

Experts confirm that the experience of Euro-2012 is very important for holding large-scale tournaments in the country and has brought Ukraine into the elite list of countries, capable to organize similar sport events on their territories. Thus, Oleksandr Volkov, president of the Basketball Federation of Ukraine (FBU) told ForUm  that "the football championship provided good grounds to win the request for 2015. We have impressed FIBA, and some of its Council members looked really touched. We should finally get rid of our self doubt and keep applying for similar events."

Group stage of the championship will be held in Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv and Kyiv; semifinals - in Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk and the final - again in Kyiv. In 2012 the Cabinet worked out the Concept of development of national sport infrastructure for Eurobasket-2015. According to the document, six new arenas will be built for the championship, and they are already under construction. Chairman of the parliamentary committee on transportation and communication Borys Kolesnikov specifies: arenas in Lviv, Odessa, Dnipopetrovsk and Kharkiv will hold 6000 viewers, port palace in Donetsk - 8-10 thousand, and Kyiv hall - 16 thousand. "These are all private project, though the state will partially compensate interests rates of credits for construction. Business invest 25% of costs, state banks give loans for five years and the government pays the interest rates," the MP explained.

Vice Premier Oleksandr Vilkul confirms that the concept of the competition provides for. the model of public-private partnership. According to the official, private investors showed interest in the project almost immediately. "The total sum of state financing of the preparations makes seven billion hryvnias; private investments - 4.3 billion, including 25% of investors' capital and the rest - bank loans. Moreover, private investors will build not only six basic arenas, but also new terminals in airports of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk. Speaking about budget means, 3.4 out of 7 billion will be spent for new landing strips, 1.4 billion - for development of infrastructure in host-cities, 1.1 billion - for compensation of interest rates, 782 million - for construction of training grounds for national teams and 200 million - for reconstruction of Sport Palace in the capital," he informed. 

Director of Eurobasket-2015 Markiyan Lubkivski points out that the basketball event requires less budget means than Euro-2012 (it cost the budget about $6 billion), as the major part of infrastructure facilities has already been built.

In the name of sport

Volkov adds that arenas are multifunctional and can be used for other sport events, as well as concerts, business forums and exhibitions. "Such arenas will not stand idle. Experience of our neighbors, Russia and Lithuania, proves that such objects are in demand even after the targeted event. Considering the experience of Europe and America, arenas may be full 280 days a year." Trainings grounds will also be multi purpose: basketball, volleyball, tennis, mini-football, handball, etc. Moreover, after Eurobasket-2015, training grounds will host sport bases of children's and youth sports schools of the European level.

Preparations to the championship are a significant economic incentive for the country: 100 thousand new jobs for constructions and another 10 thousand for management of sport facilities. To raise the interest in projects, at the end of summer the Cabinet submitted amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine exempting state and communal enterprises - infrastructure building owners - from land taxes for the period of preparation to Basketball-2015. Kolesnikov believes that it will enable to reduce budget expenses and to use the means more efficiently.

Vilkul recently said that staging of such competitions raises interest not only in basketball, but in sport activities in general. In his opinion, the European championship will contribute to the development of sport in the country and will improve Ukraine's image as a reliable and promising partner. Volkov agrees and adds that we have finally learned to hold important events at decent level. "Such events raise interest of population, especially of children and youth. Moreover, this infrastructure will remain for sport needs of the population even after the event. Soviet sport infrastructure is in the past, and we must create new and modern one."

Up to the Olympics

Youth Eurobasket-2013, held on Ukrainian soil, was some sort of a rehearsal of the future championship. Secretary General of FIBA Europe Kamil Novak agrees that Eurobasket-2013 U16 was an important stage in preparation to 2015. "The level of organization in Kyiv was very high. Now the level is lifted even higher for future organizers of U16, mostly thanks to FBU and personally vice PM Oleksandr Vilkul. You made a good use of  Euro-2012 experience," Novak said.

It means that Ukraine can now apply for staging of winter Olympic Games-2022, for which a separate national project "Olympic hope" has already been developed. Lubkivski states that the very announcement of such ambitions attracts investors' interest in the Carpathians, potential place for organization of future Olympics. In turn, it means that we will have a possibility to develop tourism and infrastructure in western regions.

Then there may be the turn of summer Olympic Games and Football World Championship, for which we already have necessary infrastructure. Similar serious projects are beneficial for economy: one billion hryvnias, invested in a project, brings 500 million hryvnias of income to the state budget though consumption of metal and construction materials, as well construction machinery and other equipment. Indeed, our country is really capable to hold big world sport events and at the same time to develop the economy and sport.

Andriy Boyarunets


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