A Look at Russia’s 2018 World Cup Stadiums

Saint Petersburg StadiumSaint Petersburg Stadium 21.11.2017: Next summer a total of 32 teams will play 65 matches across 12 venues in Russia to decide who will be the 2018 FIFA World Cup winners. The action will start and finish in the 81,000 capacity legendary Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with each of the 12 venues hosting an average of 5.3 matches.

As with many World Cup stadiums, many are still under construction, most projects have gone over budget and some will be used in an official capacity for the very first time at the tournament. So let’s take a closer look at some of the venues.

The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was demolished in 2013 and has been rebuilt for the event with just a few of the original features retained. The venue will host seven matches including the opening game featuring hosts Russia and the final on the 15th of July, were many online football tips are already foretelling a German victory.
 
 

Just over 700km further north near the Baltic coast, the Saint Petersburg Stadium took nearly 10 years to complete and came in 500% over budget, but it was finally opened for the 2017 Confederations Cup. It has a total capacity of 68,000 and will host seven matches including one semi-final and the third place playoff match. The Stadium is also home to club side FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.
   
Saint Petersburg Stadium, Photo: EF

Down on the Black Sea coast, the Fisht Stadium in Sochi was opened in 2013 and was used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The venue holds 47,700 spectators and will host six matches at the 2018 World Cup.

Perhaps one of the strangest stadiums to feature is the Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg. In order to meet FIFA requirements, the stadium has been cut open at one end to accommodate at new stand that will increase its capacity to just under 36,000. The makeshift stand holds 12,000 supporters and will be removed after the tournament. The venue will host four group stage matches.
 
 
Another newly-built venue is the Nizhny Novogorod Stadium in the town of the same name. Situated 400km west of Moscow. the venue will accommodate 45,000 spectators at each of the six matches it will host. Once the tournament is over the arena will be used by Russian Premier League side FC Olimpiyets Nizhny Novgorod.

The Rostov Arena ion Rostov-on-Don is another stadium that has been built especially with the World Cup in mind. With a capacity of 45,000, it will host four groups games and one second round match before becoming the new home of FC Rostov.

The brand new Cosmos Arena (known as the Samara Arena for the World Cup) will hold 45,000 spectators and will be the host venue for one of the quarter-final matches on July 7 - providing it is finished in time! Russian Premier League side FC Krylia Sovetov Samara will take up residency after the event.

Tthe Kaliningrad Stadium is the smallest of the bunch with a capacity of just 35,000. Also a new build, the arena will see action on four occasion during the group stages.

The 42,000 capacity Spartak Stadium in Moscow was eventually opened in 2014 after a series of delays and will play host to five matches. Also the home of Spartak Moscow, the venue was one of four chosen to host Confederations Cup matches in 2017.
   
Spartak Stadium, Photo: EF

The line up will be completed by the 45,000 capacity Zazan Arena, which was completed in 2013 and will host a quarter-final on July 6. The Mordovia Arena in Saransk, which holds 45,000 spectators but will be reduced to 28,000 to make way for leisure facilities once the tournament is over. And the Volgograd Stadium, a brand new 45,000 capacity complex that will also act as home to FC Rotor Volgograd.
 

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