Irish pair setting up tent city to cater for 10,000
Published 28/01/2012 | 05:00
A CAMPING village for up to 10,000 Irish fans is being set up in Poznan.
The Irish Camping Village has already taken booking enquiries for about 4,000 tents, with hundreds more fans looking for a place to park their camper vans.
The Irish organisers are negotiating with the local authorities to get all the agreements and licences in place, and they hope to start taking bookings in the coming weeks.
The tents at the Lake Malta site will be pitched by the organisers, with prices starting from €25 per night.
"It's been phenomenal," organiser Tony Mantero from Dublin said.
"We're not taking bookings until we have all the agreements in place with the local authorities, but thousands of people are enquiring because hotels are so expensive."
Tents will be pre-pitched with showers, toilets and food stalls on site. An entertainment zone will also be built on the opposite side of the lake from the campsite, with a concert stage and bar.
The entertainment zone will be free to those staying in the campsite, while other fans who wish to visit will pay an entrance fee on the days concerts are hosted.
Buses will also be organised to travel to Gdansk on the day of the Ireland versus Spain game, with 2,000 already booked to travel the five-hour journey by road.
"Even people who aren't planning to stay with us are booking on to the buses," said Mr Mantero, who is organising the venture with his Irish business partner David Berber.
The biggest demand has been for camper van spaces. Despite having places for just 240 camper vans, they already have 350 registered and are working to secure an extra site to cater for everyone.
The campsite -- which is just a 30-minute walk from the city centre, has a number of attractions nearby including a waterpark, ski slope and zoo.
Mr Mantero said they had received some criticism for charging €25 for a night in a tent, but he pointed out that the cost of 24-hour security, insurance, entertainment, lifeguards and a boat constantly patrolling the lake must be paid for.
However, fans will have to travel to the city centre to watch the matches on big screens in the official Fan Zone.
The Fan Zone will cater for up to 30,000 fans.
"We're open to other fans but we're expecting the majority of people who stay here will be Irish. We're hoping people will come out to the entertainment zone on the days when there are no matches," Mr Mantero said.
Enquiries can be made via www.irishfanvillage.com with bookings to be taken in the coming weeks.