The city of Istanbul is set to host one of the most important football events of 2023 on Saturday. It is the European Champions League final, which will be marked by a fierce confrontation on the pitch Atatürk Stadium between two prestigious European teams: Manchester City from England and Inter Milan from Italy.
All preparations have been planned for this major event, especially since the last time Istanbul hosted the Champions League final dates back to 2005. This football event also reinforces hopes of recovery of tourism in Istanbul after the negative effects of the earthquake of February 6th.
Inter Milan surprised many observers by qualifying for the final by beating big European clubs such as Porto and Benfica, and in particular its great rival, AC Milan (3-0). The presence of this club in the final of the Champions League reflects great symbolism for Italian football, since it will represent its country in the biggest game in Europe after a long break dating back to 2010.
For English club Manchester City, whose path to the final in Istanbul was marked by an unbeaten streak, this final represents a great opportunity not to be missed to clinch their first victory in the Champions League.
During this competition, the Citizens comfortably won their group, which included Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Copenhagen, before beating RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Thus, Istanbul is waiting for these two big clubs and their supporters on Saturday to breathe new life into the city’s tourist sector. Local authorities see the Champions League final as a good opportunity to promote tourism throughout the current year. This final is expected to inject around 75 million euros into Istanbul’s economy, according to MasterCard, one of the European League’s biggest sponsors.
At a recent press conference in Istanbul, Afshar Gürdal, Managing Director of MasterCard in Turkey and Azerbaijan, said the company expects fans to contribute around 75 million euros to the local economy over the weekend (June 10-11).
Citing a joint study conducted by “MasterCard” with the Turkish bank “Granti”, he said that fans have stayed an average of three nights in the host cities of the Champions League final in recent years, and spent an average of 855 euros per person. For its part, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce indicated that the tourism and hospitality sector in Istanbul is ready to host this world sporting event, noting that around 50,000 supporters are expected in the city, with an average stay two nights in classified hotel establishments. For its part, the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Promotion Agency have launched a series of events to promote the destination of Istanbul.
On this occasion, a Champions League Cup tour was organized to Istanbul’s most important sites, including Sultanahmet Square, Galata Tower, Ortaköy Square and Atatürk Cultural Center.