UEFA EURO 2024: "Berlin has already won"

Portrait Burkhard Kieker ©  visitBerlin, Foto: Dirk Mathesius
Portrait Burkhard Kieker

Berlin, 30 April 2024 Floodlights on! On 15 June, the first of six UEFA EURO 2024 football matches will take place in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and the German capital will experience four weeks of football culture summer. visitBerlin's Managing Director Burkhard Kieker talks in an interview about the benefits of UEFA EURO 2024 for the city and how Europe's biggest football tournament will put Berlin in the public eye.

Five matches, plus the final in Berlin. How much are people in the capital looking forward to the European Championships?

Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin: "We are looking forward to a great summer of football in Berlin and to our guests from all over the world. We are expecting up to 2.5 million football fans in the German capital for the six matches. We will be erecting the world's largest football goal for them directly in front of the Brandenburg Gate. We are also rolling out a 24,000 square metre green pitch there. The highlight of the European Football Championship is, of course, the final, which will be held in Berlin's Olympic Stadium on 14 July.



Brandenburger Tor als Fußballtor ©  Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH
Brandenburger Tor als Fußballtor

It's not just about playing, but also about celebrating. What big events are planned for the European Championships?

Burkhard Kieker: Even before the official European Championship kick-off on 14 June, the first big opening concert will take place on 12 June in the Fan Zone in the heart of Berlin. During the European Championships, around 200 events, installations and art events will take place in the Fan Zone at the Brandenburg Gate and in front of the Reichstag alone. Football fans can watch all 51 UEFA EURO 2024 matches live at public viewings. There are also numerous other public viewing programmes and events throughout the city. Cultural highlights include the "Radical Playgrounds" art trail around the Gropius Bau and the "Winner" film installation by Marianna Simnet at Hamburger Bahnhof.

What role does the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office play in this?

Burkhard Kieker: For the Berlin Convention Office, it is crucial that the EURO 2024 in Berlin offers a great opportunity to once again provide the world with an impressive calling card and to show that Berlin can host major events and present itself as a hospitable, cosmopolitan and international metropolis. 

Berlin has already won. The fact that the European Football Championship is being held in Germany and in Berlin has a priceless advertising effect. The whole of Berlin benefits: the economy and society.

Burkhard Kieker, Spokesman of the Management Board of visitBerlin
Das größte Fußballtor der Welt bei Nacht ©  Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, Visualisierung: WWW.OLN.AT
The Brandenburg Gate becomes the world's largest football goal during the European Football Championship

What advertising effect do you expect the European Championships to have on the city in general, quite independently of football?

Burkhard Kieker: Berlin has already won. The fact that the European Football Championship is being held in Germany and in Berlin has a priceless advertising effect. The whole of Berlin will benefit: the economy and society. And of course, many visitors come to the city not only for the football, but also use the trip for sightseeing, shopping or a cultural programme.

Everything about the football championship in Berlin: visitBerlin.de/en/euro-2024

(The interview was first published in April 2024 inCIM Magazine)