Budapest’s new 68,000-seat Puskás Arena, one of the host venues for next year’s UEFA European Championships, staged its first match on Friday night as the Hungarian national team fell to a 2-1 defeat against Uruguay in front of a sell-out crowd.
Tickets for the match, which were sold by InterTicket, sold out within three and a half days. Although the result left home fans disappointed, the stadium impressed on its debut, with Hungarian newspaper 444 reporting that the ground gives off a “monumental impression”.
The venue, named after Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskás, has been built on the site of the former Ferenc Puskás Stadium. It will serve as the home of the Hungarian national team and will host Group F matches and a round-of-16 fixture at Euro 2020.
A huge montage of Puskás was depicted by fans prior to kick-off and 444 reported that there were no crowds surrounding subway stations ahead of the match.
The stadium becomes the largest venue in Hungary and has been fitted with roofed grandstands. The layout of the ground gives it the capacity to stage major music concerts as well as football matches.
Earlier in the year, the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) entered into an agreement with InterTicket, which stated that ticket sales for the opening match went smoothly and at a “remarkable speed” given the high demand.
The first three days of the sales process was only opened up to registered fans, with the second phase opened to the public and selling out in two hours. InterTicket said it is planning a more long-term agreement with the MLSZ going forward.
Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani scored the first goal at the new stadium after just 15 minutes, before Brian Rodríguez doubled the visitors’ lead six minutes later. Hungary’s Ádám Szalai pulled one back on 24 minutes but the hosts were unable to find an equaliser.
Hungary will qualify for Euro 2020 with a positive result against Wales tomorrow (Tuesday).