You can’t have a World Cup without stadiums. And Russia has delivered on creating 12 unique venues to host the 2018 World Cup. In order of capacity, here is your Anchor Guide to each stadium:
Kaliningrad is the smallest stadium that is also geographically separated from the rest of Russia. Costing 257 Million Euros, the stadium is home to FC Baltika Kaliningrad which hosts just over 35,000 fans.
Central Stadium is the furthest stadium from mainland Europe. It made the news recently when temporary stands were put in place to meet capacity requirements for the World Cup. It now holds 35,696 people with the changes.
Mordovia Arena is our first purpose built stadium that was pitched in Russia’s successful World Cup bid. The stadium will interestingly hold just under 44,000 people for the World Cup but then will be decreased to 28,000 for new residents FC Mordovia Saransk Afterwards.
NIZHNY NOVGOROD STADIUM
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is another new purpose built stadium that will host 44,899 fans in a modern Open Air arena. The stadium opened earlier this year with a league match from FC Olympiyets who will use the stadium as their home ground after the World Cup.
The Cosmos Arena was completed earlier this year and sports a 65 and a half metre high dome roof as it’s main feature. It seats just under 45,000 people and will host group stage matches as well as one round 16 match and a quarter final.
The Rostov Arena is a new 45,000 capacity stadium designed to replace the Olimp-2 Stadium also based in Rostov-on-Don. During ground breaking in 2013, construction teams found five unexploded shells dating back to World War II almost perfectly preserved. The stadium will also mark the start of a new city centre.
Based in Moscow, Okritie Arena is a Category 4 Stadium currently used by Spartak Moscow and the Russian National team. Capacity is just under 45,500 and is one of two stadiums in the Capital.
The Kazan Arena, named after Rubin Kazan who use the stadium as their home ground, was one of the four venues of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. One of it’s defining features is the world’s largest LED Façade on the exterior of a football stadium. The venue will host group stage matches as well as round 16 and quarter final matches.
Volgograd Arena will be the first stop of the Group Stages for England as they face Tunisia. With a capacity of just over 45,500, The arena is expected to be handed over to FC Rotor Volgograd after the Group Stage matches as well as being used for other cultural and sporting events after the World Cup.
FISHT OLYMPIC STADIUM
The Fisht Olympic Stadium is the furthest south of all the stadiums located just above Georgia in Sochi. Originally constructed for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the stadium received a renovation in 2015 to make it compliant with FIFA regulations which included removing the roof structure. The venue went on to host matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup making it the second venue to have hosted both Winter Olympics and matches of the Conferations Cup.
The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint-Petersburg, is the only stadium in our list to feature a retractable roof which was based upon the Toyota Stadium in Japan by the same architect. The stadium’s capacity has been increased to 67,000 for the World Cup from the 56,000 capacity for the Russian Premier League matches. The stadium cost 1.1 Billion Dollars in 2017 which at current exchange rates makes it one of the most expensive stadiums ever built.
Luzhniki Stadium is the biggest venue as well as the location of the Grand Final of the World Cup. The stadium was originally called the Central Lenin Stadium and opened in 1956. It most notably held the 1980 Olympic Games, as well as the UEFA Cup Final in 1999 and UEFA Champions League Final in 2008.
The Arena1 was partially demolished in 2013 to make way for construction of a new stadium. Whilst they retained the outer façade and the self-supported cover, the new stadium now hosts 87,000 spectators making it the largest football stadium in Russia.
So there you have it. 12 venues that will host the World stage later this month featuring grand new constructions to stadiums of historical significance. However as significant as these venues are, we are not sure if it will stop supporters singing about how their “Garden Shed is bigger than this”.