The committment of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva to next year’s inaugural European Games here has been underlined by their visit to the Olympic Stadium, which is under construction as the impending event’s centrepiece. The Stadium, which will have a capacity of up to 68.000, and will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games, as well as two days of athletics, is due to be finished in February of next year – four months before the European Games are due to get underway. The President and his wife, the chair of Baku 2015, reviewed the progress of building work at the venue which will welcome the world to the Azerbaijani captial on June 12 next year.
Despite having only 30 months to prepare for its hosting of the first European Games, Baku is on schedule to have all its sporting sites ready in good time. While facilities such as the National Gymnastics Arena, which hosted the Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships in June, and the Baku Crystal Hall, which staged the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, are already up and running, work is constant to complete other venues such as the main Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the facilities for beach volleyball, beach football and water polo.