World Cup Hit: 120,000 People Visited Fan Zone in Split

By 23 July 2018

With the fan zone at Đardin park and, of course, Croatia’s incredible run in this year’s World Cup, the euphoria in Split grew day by day. After 31 days of great events, the euphoria of fans in Split reached its peak when five of Croatia’s silver medalists were welcomed on the Riva in front of more than 100,000 fans.

Damir Karaman, with his associates at "Karaman Koncert", organized the fan zone and the welcoming party for Ivan Perišić, Lovre Kalinić, Ante Rebić, Ivan Strinić and Filip Bradarić, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on July 23, 2018. 

“The national team players in Split was the culmination of my 25-year career,” said Damir Karaman, who proved himself as a producer and organizer of numerous sports, cultural and entertainment events.

“There could be nothing better than to welcome the team members right after the great finals and closing of the fan zone. The welcome party was a success, but even more successful was the fan zone, which was an incredible event and reverie for the city of Split. Namely, more than 120,000 people visited the fan zone in 31 business days, and many foreign tourists sent messages and photographs from the fan zone around the world via social networks,” Karaman said about the great project that sparked across Croatia.

Thus, during the match between Croatia and Denmark, Split’s fan zone was shown on Danish national television five times. The Split fan zone was also shown directly to international TV stations the night before the final match between France and Croatia. Reporters from the German Bild also visited Đardin to work on a story about the Split football zone and the madness that erupted there.

All of Croatia’s national TV companies - HTV, Nova TV, RTL - as well as all regional and local television stations, included Split’s fan zone in their broadcasts, and there were also reports from Split in the Russian media.

“When the City of Split and the Tourist Board saw that the interest in the fan zone had increased their capacity, they asked me to put a screen on the Riva to clear the fan zone. This best tells me how accepted the fan zone was and it was available to all the people in Split - and it even expanded to the Riva,” says Damir Karaman. 

Not a single incident occurred during the 31 days.

“Before the opening of the fan zone, many people told me ‘English fans are like this,’ ‘they are like that,’ ‘ours are like this’. But people got together and socialized. After the match between Sweden and Germany, fans were still in the zone, exchanging numbers. These friendships and companionship are the best to come out of the fan zone,” he added. 

And then there was the quick organization of the Croatia national team members in Split. 

“The City of Split gave me a chance to organize a welcome party and I had less than five hours because we did not know until the last minute when the players would be coming to Split. But my team was ready, and we did this top-notch. There were more than 100,000 people on the Riva. I am also proud of it because in such a short time, to do such a job as welcome the national team, was a real professional challenge that we handled with success,” explains Damir Karaman.

“I have to thank the City of Split for the support it has given me, and the Russian Embassy, led by Ambassador Anwar Azimov, who was the honorary patron of the fan zone. I specifically called him to come to Split, to the fan zone, to watch Croatia and Russia, but he could not come because of his obligations. Still, I have to say that there were plenty of well-known people in the fan zone. In particular, I would point out Croatia's Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, who was convinced of the importance of the fan zone for tourist promotion,” concluded Karaman.