FIFA World Cup 2018 : The spectacular stadiums that will welcome fans in Russia

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Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

 

City: Nizhny Novgorod

Capacity: 45,000

Nizhny Novgorod is one of the most intriguing host cities at Russia 2018, and is a place with a rich history as a trading center and later as a key military production facility during the Soviet Union.

The city has a population of around 1.2 million, and stands on the banks of Volga and Oka rivers. The location of the brand new Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is spectacular, overlooking the river and with a backdrop of the city’s  Kremlin on the opposite bank.

The design is distinctive, with a semi-transparent façade with shades of blue and white, in keeping with the themes of wind and water.   

It will be home to Russian second-tier club Olympiets after the tournament, and is also planned as a venue for various events such as major concerts.

It held its first test match on April 15, and will host six games at the World Cup, including a quarter-final.  

Games: Sweden v South Korea, June 18; Argentina v Croatia, June 21; England v Panama, June 24; Switzerland v Costa Rica, June 27; Round of 16, July 1; Quarter-final, July 6.

Rostov Arena

City: Rostov-on-Don

Capacity: 45,000

Rostov Arena is the brand new stadium built for World Cup games that will be held in Rostov-on-Don, a city which lies 1,000km to the south of Moscow, on the banks of the mighty Don River.

The stadium will be home to local club Rostov, who play their football in Russia’s Premier League and who in recent seasons have welcomed European giants such as Bayern Munich and Manchester United in European competitions.

The stadium design has a ripple-type effect which mimics the flow of the Don River, according to designers.

The first test match was held at the stadium on April 15, when Rostov took on SKA Khabarovsk. It will see five games at the World Cup, including a round of 16 match. 

Games: Brazil v Switzerland, June 17; Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, June 20; South Korea v Mexico, June 23; Iceland v Croatia, June 26; Round of 16, July 2.

Saint Petersburg Stadium

City: St. Petersburg

Capacity: 67,000

St. Petersburg Stadium – also known as Krestovsky Stadium – is one of the biggest and most stunning World Cup venues. Home to local Russian Premier League team Zenit St. Petersburg, it opened its doors in 2017 after years of delays and cost overruns, and is reportedly one of the most expensive stadiums anywhere in the world, supposedly coming in at a cost of more than $1 billion.

Standing on the iconic city’s Krestovsky Island, it has a retractable roof and is a stunning sight, with its futuristic design with upwardly protruding spikes resembling a spaceship.It hosted the opening game and final of the 2017 Confederations Cup, and will be at the center of plenty of World Cup action this summer, hosting seven games, including a semi-final and the third place play-off. It will host games at the 2020 UEFA European Championships.

Games: Morocco v Iran, June 15; Russia v Egypt, June 19; Brazil v Costa Rica, June 22; Nigeria v Argentina, June 26; Round of 16, July 3; Semi-final, July 10; Third place play-off, July 14.       

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