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From modern to bizarre - step into Russia's World Cup stadiums

A complete guide to each venue chosen as a host for the tournament this summer.

The Luzhniki Stadium has already hosted the 2008 Champions League and will host this summer's World Cup final.
The Luzhniki Stadium has already hosted the 2008 Champions League and will host this summer's World Cup final.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

RUSSIA HAS BUILT seven new stadiums for the World Cup and renovated three existing venues across 11 host cities including Saint Petersburg and Sochi, with Moscow being the only host city with two venues.

The national stadium, Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, will host the opening ceremony and first game between Russia and Saudi Arabia tomorrow while each other venue will host at least four games throughout the tournament.

Some of the stadiums opened late due to problems with construction and funding but all are now looking good heading into the global spectacle.

Luzhniki Stadium

Soccer WCup City Moscow Source: Dmitry Serebryakov

The crown jewel of Russia 2018, the stadium is the oldest of the all the venues in the tournament. The capital stadium will have a capacity of 80,000 after it was modernised with the World Cup in mind. It will host seven games in total including one semi-final and the final itself.

Matches:

14 June – Russia vs Saudi Arabia – Group A
17 June  – Germany vs Mexico – Group F
20 June  – Portugal vs Morocco – Group B
26 June – Denmark vs France – Group C
1 July  –   Round of 16
11 July  –  Semi Final
15 July  –  Final

Saint Petersburg Stadium

Krestovsky Stadium Source: Ronnie Esplin

The second-biggest stadium in the tournament, it holds 67,000 people. Opened in 2017, its construction took many years and proved costly and controversial.

The stadium is home to Zenit Saint Petersburg and will host seven games including a semi-final and third place playoff.

Matches:

15 June – Morocco vs Iran – Group B
19 June – Russia vs Egypt – Group A
22 June – Brazil vs Costa Rica – Group E
26 June – Nigeria vs Argentina – Group D
3 July –  Round of 16
10 July – Semi Final
14 July –  Third Place Playoff

Fisht Stadium

Imago 20170630 Source: Imago/PA Images

Built for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, a lot of money was spent to convert the stadium to meet Fifa’s strict regulations. The venue has a capacity of just over 41,000 for the tournament and will host six games including a quarter-final and last 16 tie.

Matches:

15 June – Portugal vs Spain – Group B
18 June – Belgium vs Panama – Group G
23 June – Germany vs Sweden – Group F
26 June – Australia vs Peru – Group C
30 June –  Round of 16
7 July –  Quarter Final

Ekaterinburg Arena

Soccer WCup City Yekaterinburg Source: Anton Basanaev

Renovated in 2011, the stadium will have temporary seating behind both goals to increase its capacity again to meet Fifa standards, making the stadium look the strangest of all the venues. The temporary seating rises outside of the venue to give its bizarre appearance.

Matches:

15 June – Egypt vs Uruguay – Group A
21 June – France vs Peru – Group C
24 June – Japan vs Senegal – Group H
27 June – Mexico vs Sweden – Group F

Kazan Arena

City of Kazan Source: DPA/PA Images

Opened in 2013, the modern stadium has a capacity of over 45,000 and is home to Russian side Rubin Kazan. The Kazan Arena will host four group games a last 16 tie and a quarter-final. Its slick architecture is very easy on the eye.

Matches:

16 June – France vs Australia – Group C
20 June – Iran vs Spain – Group B
24 June – Poland vs Colombia – Group H
27 June – Korea Republic vs Germany – Group F
30 June – Round of 16
6 July –  Quarter Final

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Soccer WCup City Nizhny Novgorod Source: Mikhail Solunin

This beautiful stadium holds just under 45,000 people and was built specifically for this tournament. It’s construction problems caused some controversy, it was only completed in April of this year. It will host six games including a quarter-final and one of the last 16 ties.

Matches:

18 June – Sweden vs Korea Republic – Group F
21 June – Argentina vs Croatia – Group D
24 June – England vs Panama – Group G
27 June – Switzerland vs Costa Rica – Group E
1 July –  Round of 16
6 July –  Quarter Final

Rostov Arena

Soccer WCup City Rostov-on-Don Source: AP/PA Images

This arena was also specifically designed for the World Cup and will hold 45,000 before being scaled down to 25,000 when FC Rostov permanently move in after the tournament. You’ll see this ground in four group games and a last 16 tie.

Matches:

17 June – Brazil vs Switzerland – Group E
20 June – Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia – Group A
23 June – Korea Republic vs Mexico – Group F
26 June – Iceland vs Croatia – Group D
2 July –  Round of 16

Samara Arena

The last of the stadiums to be completed, this 45,000 seater venue boasts one of the most innovative designs of any of the host stadiums. Expect to see this venue on six occasions this summer including a quarter-final and last 16 clash.

Matches:

17 June – Costa Rica vs Serbia – Group E
21 June – Denmark vs Australia – Group C
25 June – Uruguay vs Russia – Group A
28 June – Senegal vs Colombia – Group H
2 July –  Round of 16
7 July –  Quarter Final

Mordovia Arena

The Mordovia Arena is almost a mirror image of the 2010 World Cup final’s host stadium Soccer City. With a capacity of 44,000; it’s certainly a scaled down model. This arena will host just four group games.

Matches:

16 June – Peru vs Denmark – Group C
19 June – Colombia vs Japan – Group H
25 June – Iran vs Portugal – Group B
28 June – Panama vs Tunisia – Group G

Volgograd Stadium

Soccer WCup City Volgograd Source: Dmitriy Rogulin

Another newly built one, the Volgograd Stadium was opened in April of this year and will also hold 45,000 supporters. After the tournament it’ll be home to FC Rotor Volgograd, who were relegated to the Russian third tier this season. The stadium will only play host to four group games.

Matches:

18 June – Tunisia vs England – Group G
22 June – Nigeria vs Iceland – Group D
25 June – Saudi Arabia vs Egypt – Group A
28 June – Japan vs Poland – Group H

Otkritie Arena 

Spartak soccer stadium in Moscow Source: DPA/PA Images

Home of Spartak Moscow, this stadium is one of the very few stadiums in the tournament built before the country’s World Cup bid. It holds 45,000 and will host four group games and a last 16 tie as well.

Matches:

16 June – Argentina vs Iceland – Group D
19 June – Poland vs Senegal – Group H
23 June – Belgium vs Tunisia – Group B
26 June – Serbia vs Brazil – Group C
3 July –  Round of 16

Kaliningrad Stadium

Russia 2018 - Kaliningrad Source: DPA/PA Images

The smallest of all the venues this summer, the stadium holds just 35,000 and will play host to only four group games. Built on an island of the Pregolya river, construction was completed in April of this year and it’s home to second tier side Baltika Kaliningrad.

Matches:

16 June – Croatia vs Nigeria – Group D
22 June – Serbia vs Switzerland – Group E
25 June – Spain vs Morocco – Group B
28 June – England vs Belgium – Group G

 

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