Fans offered overnight Wembley experience for Euros finale

Dutch digital travel company Booking.com has unveiled the ‘Stadium Suite’, which is offering fans what is claimed to be the ultimate overnight football experience during the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium.

The venture is part of a competition initially launched in November 2019 by UEFA sponsor Booking.com. The Stadium Suite overlooks the Wembley Stadium pitch, with the venue playing host to both semi-finals and the final.

The Suite, containing a double bed, football themed soft furnishings and private balcony, was unveiled by Booking.com at yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) semi-final clash between Italy and Spain, which saw the Italians advance to meet the winner of tonight’s game between England and Denmark in Sunday’s final.

The Suite is operating across all three games, offering competition winners the chance to watch the game, staying over in the stadium post-match before waking up to breakfast pitch-side, as well as the chance to freshen up in the players’ changing room the next day.

Booking.com entered into a global partnership with UEFA, the governing body of European football, in October 2017. The deal named Booking.com as the official accommodation and attractions booking partner for all UEFA national team events from 2018 to 2022.

Arjan Dijk, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Booking.com, said: “For football fans this is truly an overnight football experience to rival all others. Watching Europe’s finest players battle it out on the pitch before enjoying a ‘backstage pass’ to Wembley Stadium – staying over and soaking up that truly unique and special stadium pre, during and post-match in Booking.com’s unique ‘Stadium Suite’.”

A similar venture was announced in the US last week. Citi Field, home of Major League Baseball (MLB) team the New York Mets, became the latest sports venue to partner with online marketplace Airbnb and offer fans an experience at the stadium.

The announcement was made to tie in with Bobby Bonilla Day, in which fans mark one of the most famously unsuccessful player contracts in history. Bonilla was released by the Mets in January 2000 after hitting .160 with four home runs and 18 RBIs the previous season, when a knee injury limited him to 119 at-bats.

Bonilla had two seasons left on his contract at $5.9m (£4.29m/€4.99m), with the Mets choosing to defer his salary at 8% interest and instead make 25 annual payments of $1,193,248.20 each July 1 from 2011 to 2035. This represented a total of $29,831,205.

Bonilla will act as the host of the Airbnb experience at Citi Field. Guests will be able to watch both a day and a night game from their own VIP suite, enjoying limitless ballpark hotdogs and drinks.

The fans will stay the night in the suite, while they will also be able to access the Mets gym during their stay. They will then throw the ceremonial first pitch before the night game on July 28.

The one-time, one-night stay is not a contest. Fans can request to book the stay for up to four guests for $250, plus fees.

Images: Booking.com