Fisht Olympic stadium is a multi-sport stadium in Sochi, Russia, that was built as the centerstage of the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics and Paralympics. It hosted the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics. It is now used as a football stadium.
It is one of the architectural marvels that was created by a global arena design firm- Populus. The construction started in 2009 and there were massive delays. Questions were raised about its completion on time. But all went well and the stadium was opened for public on February 2014 with the advent of the winter Olympics.
Fisht Olympic Stadium has a current capacity of 47,700. The stadium was named after a local peak as the roof structure of the stadium resembles a mountain peak.
Construction and Structure
There were many initial blueprints on the structure of the stadium after Sochi won the hosting rights for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Construction work began in 2009 amid hue and cry by the ecologist over selection of a seaside site for the construction. They argued that there would be environmental damages.
After delays and fears of not getting completed in time, the stadium was ready for the mega event just in the eleventh hour.
The final structure of the stadium resembles a snow-capped mountain peak. The arena offers impressive views across the park from its raised landscaped mound.
Both the ends of the stadium are open, and with reduced capacity and smaller stands allow the picturesque view of mountains on one end and the Black Sea on another.
The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The event was a grand success.
The stadium was then upgraded into a football stadium to host few matches the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, including the semi-final clash between Germany and Mexico. The stadium became the first to host both Winter Olympics and the Confederations Cup.
Fisht stadium awaits its biggest test in the football bonanza of 2018 FIFA World Cup. It will host six matches including four group stage matches, one knockout and one quarterfinal.
Former World champions Spain taking on current European champions Portugal will be the pick of the matches.
Since the World Cup is the last big mega event lined up for Russia for some time to come, the future of the stadium is uncertain. It is expected to become home to any local Russian football clubs like FC Sochi after 2018.
Also, the seating capacity might be substantially reduced to around 25,000. It might even host other events like F1, concerts, live shows etc. However, the near future is a super exciting prospect for the Sochi citizens and its stadium.