Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Cardiff hotels full for Champions League final

Published:Friday | April 28, 2017 | 4:00 AM

LONDON (AP):

Supporters wanting to stay in the city hosting this season's Champions League final are in for a shock.

Hotels in Cardiff are expected to be completely full for the night of June 3, even though the semi-finals haven't even been played yet. The only likely space available for fans in the Welsh capital is tents, some of which can cost up to US$2,300 for the Saturday night.

UEFA, the governing body of European football, requires host cities to reserve hotel rooms far in advance of games to ensure players, officials and sponsors have accommodation putting the squeeze on visiting fans when finals are played in smaller cities. With about 350,000 inhabitants, Cardiff is the first location with a population below one million to host the Champions League final since Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 13 years ago.

"Cardiff is a compact city and hotels are expected to be at capacity," the Cardiff local authority told The Associated Press. "The council ... agreed a contract with hoteliers to block book a proportion of the hotel stock in Cardiff, so we were able to host this prestigious event."

The pressure on hotel space would have been eased had an English team reached the final, but the last four are all from continental Europe. In the semi-finals over the next two weeks, Real Madrid and Atletico meet in a Madrid derby, while Monaco take on Juventus.