The Eurocup left Bilbao through the small door, almost secretly, but UEFA will pay the bill it left unpaid, and will also compensate the city with two European finals in the coming years. Perhaps the business is not round, but in view of the fact that in La Cartuja, the attendance of foreign visitors will be limited by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the political leaders of the city are more than satisfied by the negotiation they have carried out carried out with the European body, and which is based on the return of 1.3 million euros, what Bilbao had spent up to the moment of the rupture preparing the event, and two European finals, one in the Europa League and another in the Champions League. female. At the expense of which teams reach these finals, and possibly without pandemic restrictions on the horizon, beyond 2023, since in 2022 the final of the Europa League will be in Seville and the following year, in Budapest, the influx of visitors to a single match could be greater than four of the Euro with restrictions.
The mayor of Bilbao, whose city council released the information that will be ratified at the next UEFA working meeting, was very satisfied with the agreement: “We have worked in a double direction,” said Juan María Aburto, who was absent due to an intervention. when La Cartuja ousted San Mamés. “Obtain, on the one hand, financial compensation, recover what was spent, and on the other, take into account that Bilbao is an attractive city for holding new events.” The capital of Biscay has also managed to get the 2023 Tour de France off its streets.
UEFA has preferred not to face the courts. The City Council, the Biscay Provincial Council and the Basque Government pressed through the study of legal measures, to which, finally, they will not have to resort, due to the willingness of the football organization to reach an agreement. “We said that we were going to defend the interests of the Bilbao headquarters and we said it from the moment that UEFA decided unilaterally to break the contract,” says Aburto. “The Basque institutions have negotiated these weeks with UEFA, while preparing a lawsuit for unilateral breach of the contract,” explains the joint note of the three Basque administrations involved in the matter.
The Basque Government proposed very strict sanitary requirements so that the stands of San Mamés could house at least a third of its capacity. UEFA asked that there be people in the stands and understood that the requirements of the Health department prevented, in reality, the entrance of the public. The Basque Ministry requested that 60% of the Basque and Spanish population be already immunized, that hospital occupancy due to Covid be less than 8% in the Basque Country, the occupancy of ICU beds less than 2% and the traceability of cases of more than 90%. These data have not yet been reached in the Basque Country with the competition about to start. Bilbao did not have, like Munich, which did not guarantee the presence of the public, the wild card of the Superliga as Bayern was one of the great allies of UEFA against the competition promoted by some of the great European clubs. Finally, the German authorities allowed, a week ago, the presence of 12,000 fans in the Allianz Arena, by improving sanitary conditions.
In Seville, with a limited capacity of 15,000 people, who after various hesitations have been exempted from submitting a PCR test to access La Cartuja, the forecast of economic impact in the city is 61 million euros, very lower than what was expected in Bilbao, under normal conditions, when the pandemic had not appeared.
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