A Small Stadium Can Be Beautiful
By: Alvin Xu
Iceland’s women’s soccer team played in the game Euro 2022 tournament. Their captain, Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir, said, "We are all very excited to play in England, in some of the country's most famous stadiums, and I think that this will be a fantastic tournament,” after her country qualified for the tournament.
Gunnarsdottir’s tune began to fall when he heard that two Iceland groups would be playing the game in small stadiums. She said that "It's shocking. You're playing in England, you have so many stadiums, and we have a training ground in City. It's just embarrassing."
The Academy Stadium can hold 4,400 people. It belongs to Manchester City’s Women’s team and Etihad Stadium. England’s opening game was hosted by Etihad Stadium in 2005.
Old Trafford is much bigger than Academy Stadium. It’s a few miles across the city. The record of people who watched the European World Championships in Old Trafford is 68,871. That night turned out to be quite memorable because they defeated Australia.
Organizers defended that small stadiums were better than large stadiums because they would have a “great atmosphere”. It’s better to play in front of more people and with fewer empty spots rather than thousands of empty spots.
The fans inside the Academy Stadium on a baking Sunday helped create a great atmosphere when Iceland brought noise, the special type of clap called the Viking clap, and even their prime minister to the Euro 2022 tournament.
There were about 2,000 Iceland supporters who went inside the Academy stadium, and they added to a carnival atmosphere when they did the Viking clap.
Belgium fans were wearing red, and Iceland fans wore blue. The stadium was full of color and noise. Thorsteinn Halldorsson, Iceland’s coach, said that “I thought the fans were fantastic.
There was a lot of noise, singing, and cheering. You can hear everything and you feel more in contact with the fans. Even though this is a small ground, it is quite loud here.”
Katrin Jakobsdottir, Iceland's prime minister, told the BBC “It’s great to be at Euro 2022,” after he went to Manchester to support “stelpurnar okkar” (our girls).