Sport

Khan hails ‘incredible sporting summer’ for London starting with Champions League final

Festivities kick-off on 30th May in Trafalgar Square as the Champions League trophy is welcomed to London, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Wembley Stadium and (inset) Sadiq Khan
Wembley Stadium and (inset) Sadiq Khan

A four-day festival for the Uefa Champions League final will be “the start of an incredible sporting summer for London”, Sadiq Khan has said.

The mayor today (Tuesday 14th) unveiled details for the “family-friendly” celebration in the run-up to Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley on Saturday, 1st June, with events planned across five central London locations.

Festivities will kick-off on Thursday, 30th May, in Trafalgar Square as the Champions League trophy is welcomed to London before the square is filled with inflatable football activities, a five-a-side mini pitch and food stalls.

This will be followed by a headline performance from Hackney’s Rudimental on Friday, 31st May, with the show powered by the movement of dancing fans through a “kinetic dancefloor”. The night will culminate in a DJ set by Faithless.

Regent Street will be pedestrianised between Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus for the last two days of May to enable penalty shootout challenges and other activities, while Champions League legends from around the globe will be at Somerset House showcasing their skills in a five-a-side tournament.

At Potters Fields Park, by Tower Bridge, a giant inflatable Uefa Champions League trophy will greet visitors, with interactive installations and activities continuing along the South Bank.


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It is hoped the festival, which ends on 2nd June, will attract many Londoners as well as the tens of thousands of travelling fans for the two teams.

Khan said: “London is the sporting capital of the world and so it’s fitting that we are hosting the Uefa Champions League final. I am proud that Europe’s biggest match will take place in London and delighted that thousands of Londoners and visitors will be able to experience the thrill of this special competition through the Uefa Champions Festival. This is the start of an incredible sporting summer for London and a key part of our work to build a better London for everyone.”

Transport for London has advised travellers that public transport is likely to be very busy on Saturday, 1st June, particularly the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. The Metropolitan Police has meanwhile said they will be working closely with Uefa, the FA, Wembley Stadium, local authorities and other emergency services, to ensure the safety of fans and festival-goers.

Uefa’s general secretary, Theodore Theodoridis, said: “Festival-goers will enjoy a wide array of family-friendly entertainment, creating memories that will last a lifetime ahead of what is sure to be another epic encounter at the iconic Wembley Stadium.”

Sports minister Stuart Andrew MP said the final would be “a special moment in the sporting calendar, and I am delighted Wembley is playing host to Europe’s premier club football teams”.

Other sporting events heading here this summer include Major League Baseball, Diamond League athletics, and NFL football, while London hopes to reap some of the benefits from the Olympics being staged in Paris.


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