Russian 2018 World Cup Stadiums

by | Jun 27, 2018 | International Soccer, News, Paul Swaney, Soccer, World Cup Soccer

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia features some of the most aesthetically and technologically advanced architecture on the globe, including the largest LCD TV facade, a colorful mountain in Sochi, a stadium lit with multicolor diamonds, and a venue which resembles a spaceship.

Russia 2018 group stage odds include teams like Brazil and Germany as top contenders. However, the Russians absorbed the enthusiasm of their fans during their Moscow opener, earning a pair of resounding wins. This lifted Russia’s chances of winning the World Cup from 60/1 to 40/1, according to Canada Sports Betting.

Luzhniki Stadium is the marquee, historic venue for the World Cup, but all 12 stadiums across the sprawling Russian landscape offer a charismatic environment for elite football.


Luzhniki Stadium

World Cup Capacity – 78,011

The World Cup finals will unfold in the grandest stage which Russia offers for epic football. Formerly known as the Central Lenin Stadium, Luzhniki Stadium already features a long history, including Olympic glory and a tragic accident during a UEFA Cup meeting involving Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem.

Russia’s national stadium was renovated to accommodate FIFA regulations, with a capacity of 78,011 for the tournament. This is one of five venues in the world to serve as main host for the Summer Olympics, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup. The original structure was created in only 450 days, officially opening its doors on July 31st, 1956.

Spartak Stadium

World Cup Capacity – 44,190

Despite lengthy delays in construction, Spartak Stadium – regularly known as Otkritie Arena – was opened on September 5th, 2014. This venue will be able to handle 44,190 fans for the World Cup. After the competition, Spartak Moscow will resume calling this superb architecture home.

One of the standout visual features of Otkritie Arena includes a lattice of diamonds which emit colored light, changeable to reflect the teams on pitch. The initial design was considered uninspiring by stakeholders, leading to the inclusion of sparkling color. Design and construction issues inflated the budget to $430 million for this project.

St Petersburg

St Petersburg Stadium

World Cup Capacity – 64,468

The northernmost host of the 2018 World Cup features the second-biggest capacity in Russia. Star architect Kisho Kurokawa – creator of “The Spaceship” design for Toyota Stadium in Japan – won a competition with a modified version of his signature build. This led to a massive $1.1 billion project that created one of the most advanced football pitches on the globe.

Also known as Krestovsky Stadium, several iterations were required to eventually meet FIFA regulations. In addition to a retractable roof, an important feature in a frosty clime like St. Petersburg, the stadium utilizes a sliding pitch to protect the integrity of the grass.


Fisht Stadium

World Cup Capacity – 47,700

Arguably the most viscerally stunning venue of the Russian World Cup, Fisht Stadium received a redesign to turn this venue from an indoor to outdoor arena. As a result, fans get a superb view of the Caucasus range of mountains, along with the southernmost climate in Russia.

The initial cost of this venue was $779 million, while the most recent renovation required an investment of $46 million. This stadium’s so beautiful that FC Dynamo St. Petersburg will move to Sochi, giving this gorgeous Black Sea town their first pro sports club since 2013.


Volgograd Arena

World Cup Capacity – 43,713

A spectacle in the former town of Stalingrad, this stadium was built for the express purposes of hosting the World Cup. This replaced the aging Central Stadium, which was built in 1958 and demolished for the 2015 construction project. After the World Cup, Rotor Volgograd and fans will claim this gorgeous stadium as their home pitch.

The main, striking feature consists of a wire frame construction which resembles a bicycle wheel while providing an exaggerated sense of open space. This type of design blends form and function, as the available land restricted larger designs.

Nizhny Novgorod  

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

World Cup Capacity – 43,319

Built specifically for the World Cup in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium resides on the meeting of two main rivers, the Oka and the Volga. A budget of more than $280 million resulted in a massive, 11,000-ton metal roof which dwarfs the surrounding area.

After the tournament, FC Olimpiyets Nizhny Novgorod will call this facility their home pitch. However, the successful implementation of this project will likely draw sporting competitions and entertainment events such as concerts to the region.


Rostov Arena

World Cup Capacity – 45,145

Designed by Populous, a worldwide leader in stadium construction, this project started groundbreaking with the discovery of five intact, well-preserved artillery shells from World War II. Instead of relying on symmetry, the shape of this venue features an irregular, bowl-style contour.

Similar to other World Cup stadiums, this new building will be occupied by FC Rostov when the international football scene departs. Rostov-on-Don will utilize Rostov Arena to help spur new development, including commercial and residential investments.


Samara Arena

World Cup Capacity – 41,970

An otherworldly construction which dominates the Samara skyline, this stadium is an impressive $320 million project which started in 2014, received a re-design approval in 2017, and finished just in time for the 2018 World Cup. The result is an impressive “UFO”-style dome which gives the impression of space exploration.

Otherwise known as the Cosmos Arena, more than 230,000 cubic meters of concrete form the foundation of the building, which features a roof that weighs 13,000 tons and spans 76,000 square meters over the crowd. Comforts include a heated interior, along with an automatically watered and temperature-controlled pitch.


Kazan Arena

World Cup Capacity – 44,779

This remarkable, $450 million stadium is another triumph of the Populous firm, completed in July 2013 in time for the 2013 Summer Universiade. One of the first things guests will notice is the truly gigantic LED screen wrapped around the façade of the facility – the biggest such screen in the world.

The new Wembley and Emirates Stadium was the inspiration for this venue, which is one of the rare multi-sport arenas in the World Cup. After the tourney, Rubin Kazan will continue to call this marvelous stadium home.


Mordovia Arena

World Cup Capacity – 44,442

This stadium was built to meet FIFA standards for attendance, but the capacity will be reduced to 28,000 after the completion of the World Cup. These extra seats will be removed in favor of a walking concourse, with the facility serving as the largest sports and leisure center in the area.

The project began in 2010, which happened to be the 1,000th anniversary of Mordovian people’s unification with Russia’s many different ethnic populations. FC Mordovia Saransk will play for the Russian Premier League with this facility as home pitch.


Ekaterinburg Arena

World Cup Capacity – 35,696

Nestled among the Ural mountain range, this stadium’s the easternmost venue to host the World Cup. The venue was erected in 1953, serving the fourth largest city in the country. To give a sense of the sheer size of Russia, Ekaterinburg is a 12-hour drive from the nearest host city, Kazan.

In order to bolster the attendance capacity, designers added seats outside of the stadium, satisfying FIFA requirements. This helped to preserve the old architecture, which features impressive pillars from Soviet eras of the past.


Kaliningrad Stadium

World Cup Capacity – 35,212

Perhaps the most troubled of the Russian World Cup projects, Kaliningrad Stadium bankrupted the business responsible for the original design. After numerous delays, this venue was scaled back from a 45,000-seat stadium to 35,000. Instead of a retractable roof, Kaliningrad turned into an open-air building.

Finished just in time for the 2018 tournament, further reductions will diminish capacity to 25,000 in preparation for Baltika Kaliningrad, a club with an average attendance of around 3,500 fans.