Football fans journeying to Kyiv for this month’s 2018 UEFA Champions League final are finding salvation in the kindness of locals amid widespread profiteering by hotels in Ukraine’s capital.
CBRE analytical agency in Ukraine say the cost of a Kyiv hotel room has grown to 30-45 times the regular price around the women’s and men’s finals on May 24 and 26, three weeks out to the event.
Photo credit: booking.com
Hotels are booked to near-capacity, with an anticipated 100,000 visitors this month creating enormous demand for accommodation.
The analytical agency says it noticed a three to five-fold growth in prices around six months ago, which is the traditional price in cities hosting similar sporting tournaments.
Previously, cities hosting the Champions League final hiked prices up by 10-15 times. Last year, however, when the final was held in Cardiff, United Kingdom, hotel prices soared to 30 times the average cost.
In addition to putting up rooms at exorbitant costs, some hotels and other accommodation providers have been cancelling earlier reservations to re-book the rooms and spaces at a higher price.
One hostel asked its guests to cancel their reservation because it “will not have electricity and water for the dates indicated”.
Photo credit: Facebook / Kyiv FREE couch for football fans 26/05/18
In response to the complaints of overpriced accommodation in Ukraine’s capital, the Kyiv branch of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has started to officially monitor hotels in Kyiv.
But the more heartwarming news has been the generosity of Kyivans who have been offering up spare flats, rooms and couches to football fans left without accommodation for the games.
A number of groups have popped up on social media, seeking to put locals with spare space in touch with visiting football fans. The hashtag #FreeKyivCouch4Fans has also been launched with the same goal.
Photo credit: booking.com
“We do not want Kyiv to be remembered as the capital of profiteers,” one group wrote.
Another group, Kyiv Free Couch For Football Fans, has more than 4000 members and nearly 700 posts since its launch on Saturday.
One member wrote in the group that they had booked a hotel months ago only to have the business cancel on them last week. He said the same room was then put up for 3000 pounds for two nights.
“Now have accommodation sorted for free. Big ups, people of Kyiv,” he wrote in the Facebook group.
This is the first time Kyiv will host Champions League final.
The women’s final, which will see Germany’s VfL Wolfsburg go head to head with France’s Lyon, will be held at Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium on May 24.Then Spain’s Real Madrid will play England’s Liverpool team at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kyiv on May 26.