By Mark Wyatt
On Saturday June 3rd, Cardiff will host the biggest club football event in the calendar as the Champions League rolls into town. The competitions’ grand finale is watched annually by over 300 million people worldwide and all eyes will be on the Principality Stadium to see who takes this years crown.
Currently only three British teams remain in the competition; Arsenal, Leicester City and Manchester City.
The Gunners face another knock-out stage tie with Bayern Munich, their fifth fixture against the German giants in four years.
Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes will look to put poor domestic form behind them when they play Europa League champions Sevilla.
And Manchester City will be looking to go one better than last year’s semi-final devastation, but will need to overcome a stern Monaco side in the last 16.
The Principality, then named the Millennium Stadium, put a bid in to host the 2003 Champions League final.
Thanks to their five star UEFA rating they held a good chance of hosting it but eventually they lost out to Old Trafford where AC Milan overcame Juventus in Manchester in the all-Italian affair.
The tournament favourites are Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, who will be hoping to defend their 2016 title for the first time in the competition’s history.
Amongst their ranks will of course be Welshman Gareth Bale, who will be hoping to add a third Champions League crown to his trophy cabinet.
The Principality Stadium is no stranger to hosting big events, the stadium has been host to the Rugby World Cup Final, five Heineken Cup finals and six FA Cup finals since it was built in 1999.
This year the Principality will host awealth of world stars including Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Robbie Williams.
The centrepiece of the sporting calendar for University students across South Wales will also have it’s time to shine as both the men’s and women’s first XV rugby teams for Cardiff University and Swansea University will battle at the Principality for the Welsh Varsity 2017.
The Champions League final will be sure to see Cardiff invaded by waves of fans and an influx of European culture to the city.
It’s sure to be a huge event that will attract thousands of people to the centre of Cardiff with a sure boost to local commerce.