Maxim Mitrofanov: “We ask fans to come early to the match vs. Borussia”
Maxim Mitrofanov, Zenit`s General Director, told us about the process for getting into Petrovsky Stadium, treating all fans to hot tea, and actively supporting the team on Tuesday.

— There will be additional security measures at the match vs. Borussia. Why is this necessary?
— I wouldn`t say there will be an especially sharp tightening of security measures. UEFA adopted sanctions and security measures in accordance with the disciplinary regulations. The decision was taken due to the events that took place at Zenit`s match vs. FC Austria in Vienna in December. Petrovsky Stadium was partially disqualified — all four ultras sectors will be closed for the match. Fans with season tickets to these sectors will not be allowed into the stadium. These fans will not be allowed to buy tickets to other sectors of the stadium either. That would contradict UEFA`s sanctions. Season ticket holders for disqualified sectors will not be allowed onto the territory of the stadium. I`m forced to disappoint those season ticket holders from the prohibited sectors who wish to still get inside the stadium — they won`t be able to do so. So, to prevent violations in the match organization, there will be an additional ticket check at the stadium entrance. This makes our task more difficult as the match organizer: usually the function of the first and second cordons is to check the fact that people have a ticket, and that fans are not carrying any prohibited objects or materials. But in the case of this match, we will also be checking the number of the sector at all cordons, starting from the first check and ending with the third check — right in front of the entrance to the sector. In order to make this process easier, we decided to increase the number of employees who are involved at checking supporters.

— But probably fans will need more time to get through all the checks and make it to their seats?
— Yes, unfortunately, the procedure for getting into the stadium will be more complex. We`re quite satisfied with the weather for now, but nobody knows for sure, what the weather will be on February 25. We understand that many fans will come right before the match, as usual, but I would like to encourage everyone to come earlier than usual this time. This match is of special interest, and almost all the tickets have already been sold. The team needs support, and it would be wise to come to the stadium a little earlier. From our side, we will do our best to make the stadium check procedure as comfortable as possible.

— What can be done to make the stadium experience more comfortable overall for fans coming to the match on Tuesday?
— We ask al fans to come to the stadium at least 40 minutes before kick-off instead of the usual 15 minutes. As I already said, we can`t predict the weather for sure. So we`ve already decided to offer all guests at the stadium free tea and some small snacks, to keep people comfortable while they wait for the match. We hope that will make things better for all fans at the stadium. We`ll do the same for our German visitors too. We understand that it`s hard to be outside at the stadium for a long time. Petrovsky does not have the most comfortable infrastructure, unfortunately, especially in winter time. So we`re going to give Borussia fans hot team, and treat them to pies (piroshki). We`ll show them true Russian hospitality, to soften the influence of any cold weather on the match atmosphere.