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FIFA World Cup 2018: Guide to the 12 host stadiums

FIFA World Cup 2018: Guide to the 12 host stadiums
FIFA World Cup 2018: Guide to the 12 host stadiums
Russia will be hosting the FIFA World Cup for the first time
Russia will be hosting the FIFA World Cup for the first time

With Russia set to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world - the FIFA World Cup 2018 - football fans around the globe can't wait for it to get started.

A total of 64 matches will be played amongst 32 teams across 12 different venues, located in 11 different cities. All the host cities are in or just outside the European part of Russia, to reduce the travel time for teams and the fans.

Defending champions Germany, 5-time champions Brazil, Spain and Argentina are among the favourites to lift the trophy, but the other teams cannot be ruled out either. Who knows? We might even get a surprise winner this term.

Russia has spent a huge chunk of their resources towards the success of the World Cup, and that being said, here's a brief look on all the 12 host stadiums.


Fisht Olympic Stadium

Stadium will be the host for six World Cup matches
Stadium will be the host for six World Cup matches

Location: Situated in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia

Construction cost: $779 million

Capacity: 47,659

Opened for the first time in 2013, Fisht Olympic Stadium will be the host for six World Cup matches (4 group stages, 1 round of 16 match, and one of the quarterfinals).

Originally built as an enclosed facility, this stadium has gone through a lot of renovations recently, before finally re-opening as an open-air stadium in 2016.

Situated in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, it's capacity will temporarily be increased to 47,659 from 40,000 for the World Cup, and will later be restored to 40,000 after the World Cup.

This stadium has also hosted many other popular sporting events like the Winter Olympics, the Paralympics and the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The stadium will become the second stadium in the world to host both, the Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup matches.

Check out: FIFA World Cup 2022 Points Table

Krestovsky Stadium

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The stadium was opened in 2017 for FIFA Confederations Cup

Location: Krestovsky Island, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Construction cost: $1.1 billion

Capacity: 64,287

Home of FC Zenit Saint Petersberg, the Saint-Petersberg stadium will be one the busiest stadium during the FIFA World Cup and will host 7 matches, including the third-place match, a semifinal and 1 round of 16 match.

It usually operates with a capacity of 56,000 for regular league matches but will be increased to 64,287 for the World Cup.

Having cost a whopping sum of $1.1 billion to construct, it is considered to be one of the most expensive stadiums ever built in the world, It was first opened for the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017, and the opening and closing game of the tournament was held in this stadium.

Krestovsky stadium has also faced a lot of controversies as the actual budget and expected time of construction exceeded the planned budget and time constraints.

This stadium is categorized as a UEFA Category 4 Stadium and is capable of conducting matches even under the extreme conditions.


Otkrytiye Arena

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Otkrytiye Arena is the home ground of Spartak Moscow

Location: Tushino, Moscow, Russia

Construction cost: $430 million

Capacity: 45,360

Located in Toshi, Moscow, Otkrytiye Arena is the home of Russian Premier League side Spartak Moscow and is capable of holding up to 45,360 spectators at a time.

First opened in September 2014, for the match between Spartak Moscow and Red Star Belgrade, this stadium also hosted FIFA Confederations Cup matches, with the third-place match between Portugal and Mexico also being played at this stadium.

Otkrytiye Arena has been given the responsibility of conducting 4 Group Stage matches and 1 Round of 16 match during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

There is a monument dedicated to the Starostin brothers - the founders of Spartak Moscow near the north end, inside the stadium, which will be one of the attractions for the fans.

Luzhniki Stadium

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Luzhniki Stadium will host the final of the World Cup

Location: Khamovniki District, Moscow, Russia

Construction cost: $427 million

Capacity: 81,000

Luzhniki Stadium is situated in the capital city of Moscow and will also host the final match of the World Cup. It is mainly used as the home ground of the Russia National football team and can hold up to 81,000 spectators at a time.

7 matches will be played in this stadium, including the final, semi-final and 1 round of 16 match.

Luzhniki Stadium is regarded as one of the largest stadiums in Eastern Europe and is one of the few stadiums in the world to conduct the finals of both, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Opened in 1956, the stadium has gone through a lot of renovation work recently, yet it will remain as the oldest stadium to feature in this edition of the World Cup.

This stadium was also featured as the main stadium for the 1980 Summer Olympics, the 1957 Ice Hockey Championship, the 1998 World Youth Games and many other popular sporting events.

Popular artists like Micheal Jackson, Madonna, Metallica, have all had concerts in this stadium.


Kaliningrad Stadium

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Kaliningrad Stadium is the smallest stadium in terms of capacity

Location: Oktyabrsky Island, Kaliningrad, Russia

Construction cost: $314 million

Capacity: 35,212

Kaliningrad Stadium has a capacity of 35,212, is the smallest stadium for the tournament and will be hosting 4 matches, all during group stages.

The stadium is still in the final stages of construction, and its first test match is set to be played in March.

Located only 45 kilometres away from the Russian-Poland border, this is the closest stadium to the European Union and the Schengen Area, among all the stadiums.

After the World Cup, the capacity of the Stadium will be decreased to around 25,000 and will become the new home ground of FC Baltika Kaliningrad.

Kazan Arena

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Kazan Arena is categorized as a UEFA Category 4 Stadium

Location: Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia

Construction cost: $450 million

Capacity: 45,379

Opened in July 2013, this stadium is the home of Russian Premier League outfit Ruben Kazan and has the largest outside LED screen installed in the world.

With the capacity of containing upto 45,379 fans at a time, this will be fifth-largest stadium in the tournament.

Previously being the host of some important FIFA Confederation Cup matches including the Semi-Final, this stadium will now host 6 matches in the FIFA World Cup (4 group stages matches, 1 Round of 16 match, and 1 quarterfinal).

The 2013 Summer Universiade, the 2015 World Aquatics Championship and the 16th FINA World Championships were the other sporting events held at this stadium.


Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

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Nizhny Novgorod Stadium will host 6 matches

Location: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Construction cost: $315 million

Capacity: 44,899

Situated in Nizhny Novgorod - the 5th most populated city in Russia, this stadium will host 6 games including 1 Round of 16 match, and 1 quarter-Final.

This newly built stadium has a capacity of 44,899 and will be used by Russian Premier League side FC Olimpiyets Nizhny Novgorod after the World Cup.

In preparation for the World Cup, the city of Nizhny has significantly improved its transport infrastructure and now has a better hotel network.

Notably, the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium was in the news in 2017, after a fire broke out at the ground.

Mordovia Arena

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Mordovia Arena will host 4 matches

Location: Saransk, Mordovia, Russia

Construction cost: $300 million

Capacity: 44,442

Situated in Saransk, Mordovia, Russia, this stadium is still under construction and is expecting to host its first test match in April 2018.

The Mordovia Arena will host 4 World Cup matches, all from the Group Stages.

This stadium has been planned to hold 44,442 spectators at a time for the FIFA World Cup which will later be decreased to around 28,000 after the Tournament.

This arena will be used by Russian Premier League side FC Mordovia Saransk for their home matches after the World Cup.


Rostov Arena

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Rostov Arena is still under construction

Location: Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Construction cost: $342 million

Capacity: 45,000

The host of 4 group stage matches, in addition to one round of 16 match is still under construction, though the Russian Organizing Committee has promised to have the stadium ready for the World Cup.

Rostov Arena has a seating capacity of 45,000, which will be decreased to around 42,000 after the World Cup and the stadium will serve as the new home ground for FC Rostov.

As the first major project on the Southern Bank of River Don, the construction of this stadium is expected to bring prosperity to the city. This will also be the focus for all major investments in the future.

Central Stadium (Yekaterinburg)

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Central Stadium will be the second oldest stadium to feature in this edition of the World Cup

Location: Yekaterinburg, Russia

Construction cost: $223 million

Capacity: 35,696

Built in 1957, Central Stadium will be the second oldest stadium to feature in this edition of World Cup, just after Luzhiki Stadium in the capital city of Moscow.

Situated in the city of Yekaterinburg, this will be the only stadium to be situated in the Asian part of Russia.

12,000 temporary seating arrangements of the stadium has been increased to 35,696 for the World Cup 2018, which will be removed after the World Cup, reducing its capacity back to 23,000.

The stadium has hosted thousands of sports and entertainment events including the 1959 World All-round Speed Skating Championship and numerous Spartakiad of peoples of the USSR.

4 Group Stage matches will be played at this stadium during the World Cup.


Volgograd Arena

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England will kick-off their tournament at the Volgograd Arena

Location: Volgograd, Russia

Construction cost: $288 million

Capacity: 45,568

The Volgograd Arena is located on the banks of the Volga river and can hold up to 45,568 fans at a time.

Volgograd is still under construction and officials are confident that it will get completed well before the World Cup.

4 Group Stage matches will be played at the Volgograd Stadium, including England's opening match against Tunisia.

Its capacity will reportedly be decreased to 35,000 and will serve as the new home ground of Russian Premier League club FC Rotor Volgograd, after the World Cup.


Cosmos Arena

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Scale model of the Cosmos Arena

Location: Samara, Russia

Construction cost: $320 million

Capacity: 44,918

Cosmos Arena has a capacity of 44,918 is in the final stages of its construction and will be the new home of Russian Premier League side FC Krylia Sovetov Samaras.

This stadium has given the responsibility to conduct 6 matches (4 group stages, 1 round of 16 match, and one of the quarter-finals).

With the design inspired by the Aerospace, Russian Government has nearly spent $320 million on the construction of this New-Age stadium.

To make it easier for the supporters to locate the stadium, FIFA has given this stadium a new name, the Samara Arena, which is also the name of the city in which this stadium is located.

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Edited by Aakanksh Sanketh
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