Champions League Final: Camping and lodging with locals

A previous Camping Ninja site Image copyright Camping Ninja
Image caption A previous site by event accommodation company Campingninja

Hotels for the Champions League Final in Cardiff sold out months ago - so what will happen to the rest of the 170,000 visitors expected?

Juventus take on Real Madrid in the city on 3 June with tens of thousands of fans expected from Italy and Spain alone.

But Cardiff's 4,000 hotel rooms is a fraction of those in previous host cities Paris (76,000) and Berlin (135,000).

Those unable to secure bookings are expected to look to alternatives such as tents or lodge with local residents.

There is a temporary campsite for about 5,000 supporters at Pontcanna Fields which features 1,500 tents and will be in place between 22 May and 5 June.

Geoff Vaughan from the private firm Campingninja, which is organising the site, said its aim was to provide fans with an alternative to hotels.

"It's about being able for someone to fly in, or take the train in, and just arrive and have everything ready for them," he said.

"So if it's one of our two man tents it'll have a bed in it, it'll have pillows, it'll have sleeping bags."

The lowest price two person tent at the site starts at £300 for the night of the final, illustrating the cost for fans travelling to the event.

Local residents have also tried to cash in and adverts on websites such as Gumtree and Airbnb have some putting their homes up for between £80 and £2,000.

Image caption Cardiff residents are looking to rent out their homes to football fans

Katarzyna Minor, a lecturer in hospitality at Cardiff Metropolitan University, thinks most people advertising their homes will be able to find guests for the final.

"If you've got a spare room in Cardiff, that eliminates the need to travel in from Swansea or from Bristol, then why wouldn't you do it?" she said.

"This is how the whole idea of Airbnb came about in the first place.

"The people who came up with the idea rented out their own floor space essentially, because their city had run out of hotel space."

Ms Minor also believes the number of people renting out their own homes in cities like Cardiff means it is unlikely more hotels will be built in the future.

"You've got bed and breakfast accommodation, you've got self-catering accommodation and also increasingly these days what you're looking at is the rise of Airbnb," she added.

"You're not just dealing with the hotels' capacity in these cities, but the capacity of all these types of accommodation.

"Because of that I would be surprised if any new big developments would be happening in Cardiff."

Image copyright Andrew Davis/Geograph
Image caption Thousands of football fans are set to camp on Cardiff's Pontcanna Fields

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