Those tuning in to watch Hungary vs Poland at Euro 2020 on Tuesday night will come across a rare and thrilling sight – a near capacity crowd.
At the Puskas Arena, 61,000 fans will be in attendance to watch the European Champions in action in their Group F opener.
That figure is three times the amount of spectators [18,497] fans who were allowed to attend England’s first match of the tournament against Croatia at Wembley – which the hosts won 1-0.
The Hungarian FA made the bold decision to pack their national stadium to the rafters for its four Euro 2020 fixtures based upon their Government’s ambitious and ever-growing vaccination programme.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a huge football fan and having invested heavily in the sport over the last decade has ultimately made the decision for Hungary to make the most of what is an incredible opportunity for the country.
“The government knows the Euros are coming here once and may not be here for many years afterwards, so it’s an opportunity for them to show and express themselves,” a source told the Athletic.
“OK, COVID-19 numbers are better than months ago, but many people don’t understand why it will be full.
“The answer is very easy: the (Hungarian) government and prime minister loves football, and they know how important this Euros is for the national team and country.”
Orban has previously outlined that he wanted as many fans as possible inside the national stadium this summer.
“Everyone who is registered will definitely have been vaccinated, and with their vaccination card will have the opportunity to take part in this event,” he said.
Unlike in England, spectators have to produce a certificate confirming they have had the vaccination jab before they are given admission to the stadium.
You get the sense these Hungary fans are going to make the most of a difficult situation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And best of all they get to watch Cristiano Ronaldo for starters. Result.
Host cities, stadiums and Euro 2020 crowd limits in order
Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands (12,000)
Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark (12,000)
Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland (13,000)
Arena Nationala, Bucharest, Romania (13,000)
La Cartuja, Seville, Spain (13,165)
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany (14,500)
Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy (17,500)
Wembley Stadium, London, England (22,500)
Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan (34,000)
Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia (34,000)
Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary (67,000)