Bucharest became the capital of Romania in 1862. The city and its outlying areas are home to nearly two million people. Bucharest is one of the main transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. Like much of Europe, it has many fans of football, known as soccer in the United States.
Located in Bucharest, Romania, the Lia Manoliu National Stadium was part of an athletic complex that opened in 1953 and hosted football games, concerts and other events. The stadium had become outdated, however, and in 2007 it was demolished to make way for a new facility.
WSP was commissioned to oversee design and construction of a new national arena, including design review, cost management and construction supervision. The firm also provides operations and maintenance services for the completed facility.
Opened in 2011, the new 23-meter-high National Arena seats approximately 55,000 people. It has two underground and three upper levels. The two lower levels include spaces for athletes, trainers, referees and judges as well as administrative spaces, media workspaces, conference rooms and parking spaces for 2,100 vehicles. The upper levels include 42 VIP skyboxes, a lounge, restaurants, restrooms and concession areas. The stadium features state-of-the-art sound and video systems, a retractable roof, and a grass playing field with a built-in heating system.
To date, the National Arena has served as home to the Romanian national football league team and has hosted other national football championship games, the Romanian Cup Final, Champions and Europa League games, and the Europa League Final 2012. It is a candidate for the Union of European Football Associations' Final Tournament 2020. The facility is also used for major public events, including large concerts by world-renowned performers.