Following the great popularity of the public screening of UEFA EURO 2016 men’s soccer matches in Ingólfstorg Square in downtown Reykjavík last year, organizers expressed their willingness to do it all over again this year for UEFA Women’s EURO 2017, reports mbl.is.
“We will start to set up the square late Friday and work over the weekend,” stated Gunnar Lár Gunnarsson, project manager for ‘UEFA EURO Square’, which is what Ingólfstorg Square will be dubbed for the duration of the championships. Manhattan Marketing will have responsibility for organizing the square in collaboration with the City of Reykjavík and other sponsors.
According to Gunnar, the arrangement in the square will be very similar to that when the men’s UEFA EURO 2016 took place in France last year. “We’re going to show all the games we can in the square unless there are some that overlap with each other, which shouldn’t happen.”
UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 kicks off in the Netherlands on July 16. The first game will be shown on the big screen in the square on Sunday, but Gunnar said that the square will be officially opened with all the accompanying pomp and splendor next Tuesday when the Icelandic national women’s team is set to play its first match of the tournament against France.
“Experience has shown that the vast majority of people come to watch Iceland’s matches, so the most natural thing to do is take advantage of the opportunity and hold the opening ceremony when Iceland’s first game is on,” explained Gunnar.
The ‘UEFA EURO Square’ proved so popular last year that when Iceland reached the round of 16 it was decided to transfer the screen to larger Arnarhóll hill park nearby to better accommodate the crowds. Thousands of people gathered there to watch the game.
Gunnar said he was optimistic about attendance in the square this year. “We have had nothing but a positive reception, and we are currently working hard in partnership with [national TV broadcaster] RÚV and others on a promotional plan for the square. We’re going to run radio and television ads to let the public know about us. I think, though, that this idea has already proved itself, people know exactly what this is all about. We’ve heard that many people have declared their intention of coming, so I think this can’t help but be fun.”
Gunnar said he hoped that the team showed up rock-solid for the match and made their presence felt right from the first minute. “It will be fun to see how they progress in the tournament, you just have to hope for the best.”