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Three upcoming sporting events promoting Azerbaijan on a global scale

Azerbaijan's rise to prominence over the past 20 years has been one of the most notable on the planet, with the former Soviet state slowly becoming establishing itself as a key destination for major events.

This status was perhaps solidified with the recent announcement that the nation's capital Baku is to be one of the hosts of the 2020 UEFA European Championships, but that is just one of many key events that will be taking place in Azerbaijan in the coming years, each of which will bring new buildings, structures and visitors to the country.

Euro 2020

After UEFA announced in 2012 that the 2020 European Championships would be held in multiple cities all over Europe to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the tournament, several nations put forward bids to be included.

With the new format expanding the tournament from 31 matches featuring 16 nations to 51 featuring 24 teams, there was ample opportunity for Azerbaijan to step forward, and this was confirmed by the fact that Baku was successful in bidding to host both a group game and a quarter-final match, which will be played at the new Baku National Stadium.

The new venue is currently under construction in Boyuk Shor, with the facility's retractable roof providing a new home for the Azerbaijan's national football team and a destination venue for sports and entertainment events alike in eastern Europe and Western Asia.

2015 European Games

Set to take place in summer 2015, it will mark the first ever staging of the European Games; a new multi-sport event bringing together athletes from Europe's National Olympic Committees, and therefore representing the continent's finest competitors.

Baku was awarded the right to host the inaugural Games in 2012, when it was also decided that the event will be held every four years. Taking place from June 12th to 28th, more than 6,000 athletes from 49 NOCs competing in 20 sports will be in attendance, and as such a number of facilities have been constructed or revamped.

As well 4 'clusters', there will be 18 competition venues, with the National Gymnastics Arena, BMX Velopark, Baku Aquatics Centre, Baku Shooting Centre and National Stadium all representing brand new facilities.

In addition, several temporary venues have been erected to host water polo, volleyball, basketball, mountain biking and the triathlon, while an Athletes Village in the Nizami Raion will welcome the competitors with 13 main buildings and a number of different apartments will cater for each athlete's individual preferences.

2016 F1 European Grand Prix

After being removed from the Formula One calendar in 2013, the traditionally nomadic European Grand Prix will make a return to the season's fixture list, with Azerbaijan set to host the rebooted race at the brand new Baku Street Circuit.

The circuit itself will be constructed near Baku Boulevard and - similar to the Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix - will utilise the city's road layout to create a winding course offering an alternative to traditional purpose-built racetracks.

Designed by circuit architect Hermann Tilke, the six kilometre circuit will start adjacent to Azadliq Square and run anti-clockwise around Government House before extending west to Maiden Tower and then moving uphill to the Old City, and finally along Neftchilar Avenue via a 2.2 km (1.4 mi) stretch which will be the longest in all of F1.

To complement the circuit, a new grandstand will be built at the finish line, as well as an expansive paddock area for drivers and constructors, and new facilities for visitors designed to compete with the very best that F1 has to offer.

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