When we talk about football- soccer style, there is no stopping the excitement for the closing-in of FIFA World Cup 2018. It will be, perhaps, the biggest event in sports history for football fans. And we cannot argue about only fans loving this game; you and I both have seen several people- those who are not die-hard football fans, enjoy such a spectacular event. There are several factors which combined together makes football world cups a sight to behold. I decided to talk about one of those special elements which bring us such a mesmerizing experience, in this article. While we do that, we will also gossip a little about World Cup 2018.
FIFA World Cup
Soccer is a game children start playing even before they realize the potential of the sport. It is something that comes from within; maybe that is why this is such a loved game. What we simply call the “World Cup”, i.e. FIFA World Cup, is an organized football competition by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which is the International governing body of this sport. The members of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association let the senior men’s national teams compete in this tournament.
The inaugural event happened in 1930 and the championship has been granted every 4 years ever since. This championship did not take place in 1942 & 46 due to WWII. The last World Cup took place in Brazil in which Germany emerged as the champions, securing their 4th title in football history; right next to Brazil holding 5 titles to their name.
As long as it takes to have our favourite sports tournament return every four years, we do not mind because it is easy to realize the hardship, preparation, and practise required by every single person responsible for the tournament to happen. It seems like a long time has passed since the Germans took the last championship. But the entire wait is slowly coming to be over, and the excitement; even better, for the FIFA World Cup 2018 is near.
World Cup 2018
The world cup of 2018 is going to be the 21st FIFA World Cup. The tournament has been scheduled to begin from June 14 and go on till July 15 in Russia. Russia did not have the hosting rights until it was awarded to them on 2nd December 2010. After the 2006 Germany tournament, the 2018 world cup is going to be the first to be held in Europe. It is the first FIFA World Cup to be taking place in Eastern Europe.
The tournament will include 32 national teams out of which, 31 teams will be determined via qualifying competitions, and the one team which will qualify automatically being the host team. Out of all these teams, 20 teams will appear back-to-back following the 2014 tournament. It will include defending champions Germany and the first ever appearances of Panama and Iceland at the world cup. There will be 12 stadiums situated in 11 cities where a total of 64 matches will take place. Exciting, is it not? That is indeed a pretty large roster and the entire tournament is going to have us biting our nails as we root for our favourite teams. The venues for all the games have been decided in European Russia so as to keep the timings efficient and manageable. And the venues are exactly what we are here to talk about today.
Here are the Russia 2018 Stadiums for FIFA
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Located in Moscow, Luzhniki Stadium is Russia’s national stadium with a capacity of 81,000 seats. It is Russia’s largest stadium, and one of the biggest in Europe. The term “Luzhniki” can be roughly translated as “The Meadows”.
It is located in Central Administrative Okrug’s Khamovniki District in Moscow. It was the core arena for the 1980 Olympic Games. It hosted the opening and the closing ceremonies and also few of the competitions; final of the football tournament included. The 1999 UEFA Cup Final and the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final was hosted in this stadium. Luzhniki was declared to be the core stadium for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. What is even more important is that this stadium will host 6 tournament matches as well as the Final. Maybe not among the top 10 stadiums in the world, according to size, Luzhniki Stadium is the pride of Russia; hosting one of the biggest events this year.
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
This stadium located in the Sochi Olympic Park is named after Russia’s Mount Fisht. This stadium was the venue for the Paralympics and Winter Olympics of 2014. This 47,000-capacity venue played the host venue for the opening and closing ceremonies and that is exactly why it was constructed.
Originally, an enclosed facility, Fisht Olympic Stadium was re-opened as a large open-air football arena in 2016. The objective, being a part of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup & 2018 World Cup, was to hold matches. Building this stadium in 2013 cost US$779. Fisht Olympic is also a training facility for the national football team of Russia.
Saint Petersburg Stadium, St.Petersburg
Heard of Krestovsky Stadium? Well, that officially is known as Saint-Petersburg Stadium. And that is not all; it is also known as Zenit Arena. The fun thing about this arena is its retractable roof. The stadium is located in the western part of Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky Island.
There have been delays in the construction of this arena a few times. It was opened for the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017 and the initial plan showed completion of the construction by December of 2008. That did not happen and the date was moved to 2011 and then altered several times again. Finally, the date was postponed to 2017. The cost of this stadium is $1.1 billion as per the recent exchange rates. Krestovsky is said to be one of the costliest stadiums built ever.
Spartak Stadium, Moscow
Earlier known as Otkritie Arena, Spartak Stadium is mostly used for soccer matches. It holds the home games of Spartak, and at times, hosts the national team of Russia. Spartak Stadium has a capacity of 45,360 seats. This arena was one of the 4 hosts for the Cofederations Cup 2017.
Spartak fans had their chance to behold their club secure a spectacular win against Sevilla at 5-1 and a historic draw against Liverpool at 1-1. Pretty exciting, I would say.
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
During the stadium’s groundbreaking in June 2013, 5 properly reserved shells from WWII were recovered. Work began on August 2013 and the foundation was over in 2014 May. Building the stadium commenced and was running until March 2015, when the project was reassessed and the construction expense was lowered to 3 billion Rubles.
The arena was opened in 2017. The distinct shape of the stands and the roof are both beautiful features of the stadium. Although it holds a seat capacity of 45,000, after the 2018 World Cup, the capacity might be reduced to 42,000.
Samara Arena, Samara
Also known as Cosmos Arena, this stadium will be called Samara Arena when World Cup starts. It has a capacity of 44,918 seats. This arena project started off in 2014 and took 3 years to finish and the cost was $320 million.
The stadium was going to be constructed to the south of the city, on an island. But the issue was that there is no infrastructure or settlements nearby; and not even a bridge connecting it to the rest of the civilization. And so the arena was relocated on the opposite side within the city limits. The stadium area is an amazing 930 ha.
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Kazan Arena was built to hold home games of Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League. The construction project finished in 2013 and it has Europe’s biggest outside screen.
Kazan Arena held the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2013 Summer Universiade, and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. It is going to replace Central Stadium and be the main arena for the football games in Kazan. Kazan Stadium hosted the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. It is going to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Kazan holds a capacity of 45,379 seats.
After the World Cup tournament concludes, FC Rubin Kazan is going to move up and turn it into their new home.
Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
Set to host some of the matches of World Cup 2018, Kaliningrad Stadium AKA Arena Baltika is a two-tier stadium fitted with all modern tech security systems. Remember the arena which held matches in the 2006 World Cup? Yeah, you got that right! Allianz Arena; that is what the concept of this project was based up on. The cost was planned around 11 billion Rubles. Part of the roof is going to be retracted and seat capacity is 35,212.
This stadium is situated 45 KM away from the Poland border, making it the closest 2018 FIFA World Cup stadium, to the Schengen and European Union areas.
Mordovia Arena, Saransk
Mordovia Arena is situated in the central area of Saransk, Mordovia, Russia. This stadium was portrayed with a momentary design by Tim Hupe, a German architect in the bid. A local firm named “Saransk Grazhdan proekt” was selected for the stadium’s final look.
Here are some of the facts. The stadium is bowl-shaped and going to have acid orange coloured seats. The capacity is going to be 44,442 until the tournament concludes. Later, they will dismantle the upper seats, lowering the capacity to 28,000. But people will have all the fun in that stadium during the tournament.
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Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
It holds FC Rotor Volgograd games and has a spectator-capacity of 45,568. Volgograd Arena has been built on top of the remains of Central Stadium. It is situated near the Volga River, at the bottom of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The Central Stadium was built on the plot of a bygone oil depot in 1958.
Now, what the concerning factor is that some of the Russian Stadiums are still under construction and running behind schedule. Volgograd Arena is one such incomplete work. Planned to be opened in 2017, this stadium may just be able to host this big tournament, i.e. if they are done with the construction before time runs out.
Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg
This arena is going to be one of the 12 stadiums to host the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It is a multi-purpose arena in Russia’s Yekaterinburg. Although the seat capacity will be decreased to 23,000 post the World Cup, during the tournament, it will cover more than 35,000 spectators. During the event, Yekaterinburg stadium, also known as Central Stadium, will be called Ekaterinburg Arena.
It is going to be the only stadium in Asian Russia. Ekaterinburg has the 2nd lowest spectator capacity among all the World Cup stadiums. Surprisingly, this stadium has held 3 international games at the U-21 level in 2012. Central Stadium has also hosted different sports in the past; especially Tennis. Ekaterinburg Arena, after the 2018 World Cup will become FC Ural Yekaterinburg’s new home.
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Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
Holding a capacity of 44,899 seats, the total area of the constructed arena is 127,500 m2. Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is going to host some of the World Cup matches this year. What is expected of the arena is that it is probably going to become the home for matches of FC Olimpiyets Nizhny Novgorod, in the Russian Football Premier League.
Governor Valery Shantsev, at the conclusion of 2017 suggested that the arena is going to be used for other sports, and also big concerts and events.
So, here you are. All your curiosity about the venues which are going to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been explained. I came up with this list of the FIFA world cup 2018 stadiums for you. We are hoping that this World Cup be just as exciting as the best ones. Even though a few stadiums seem to be pretty new, or for that matter, still getting the finishing touches, Russia is going to host a great FIFA World Cup this year. Let us all root for our favourite teams, and catch them up in some of the coolest stadiums.