World Cup Host Cities and Venues
Host City: Ekaterinburg
Ekaterinburg is the most eastern host city of the World Cup located on the border of Europe and Asia, at the foot of the Ural Mountains. It is 1755 km from Moscow – about two hour ten minute direct flight time. The city is well known for the arts and one of Russia’s leading sports centers. Although founded in 1723 it is a city with modern architecture and infrastructure.
Venue: Ekaterinburg Arena
Ekaterinburg Arena is undergoing a renovation that will include a roof and temporary stands. The stadium is scheduled to host a total of four matches during the World Cup all in the group match stages. The capacity is approximately 35,700.
Host City: Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad is a seaport city and the westernmost host city of the World Cup located between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. It is 1235 km from Moscow – taking just under two hours flight time direct. The city has pristine beaches and a mild climate that time of year. The beautiful nature reserve of Kurshskaya Spit, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000.
Venue: Kaliningrad Stadium
Kaliningrad Stadium is a new stadium being built as a multi-purpose venue. It will host other Kaliningrad Stadiumsporting events and concerts. It will host four games in the group match stages and will have a capacity of a little over 35,000.
This city is located 454 miles to the east of Moscow and about an hour and a half flight time. It is one of the oldest Russian cities, founded in 1005. Despite its age, it is home to over 30 of Russia’s largest universities and therefore has an abundance of young people that brings with them a youthful exuberance and diversity. A modern day city with an old world charm.
Venue: Kazan Arena
Kazan Arena was built in 2013 and a football pitch was added later that year. It was designed by the same architects as Wembley Stadium and Emirates Stadium in London. It will host six matches: four group matches, a Round of 16 and a Quarterfinal match and will have a capacity of 44,700.
Host City: Moscow
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia. It is also the largest city on the European continent. The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings. It boasts several World Heritage Sites within its territory, not least, the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square. Also not to be missed is the world famous Bolshoi Theatre, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum and St. Basil’s Cathedral. It was founded in 1147 and has a population of just over 12 million living within city limits. It is home to over 130 nationalities, has four airports and one of the world’s busiest underground systems. The city will host twelve games in total between two stadiums during the duration of the tournament.
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium
This will be the main stadium for Russia 2018 and was originally built in 1956. It is undergoing renovations that will see the stands being moved closer to the pitch and extra tiers added. The capacity will increase from 78,000 to 81,000. This stadium will host four group matches (including the host team, Russia), a Round of 16 match, a Semifinal match as well as the Final game.
Venue: Spartak Stadium
This stadium was finished in 2014 and is home to Spartak Moscow, the “people’s team”. It occasionally hosts the Russian national team. The outside is designed to look like chain mail and can change colors depending on who is playing. It will host four group matches as well as a Round of 16 match. It will have a capacity of just over 43,000.
Host City: Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod, colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is Russia’s fifth largest city. It is the economic and cultural center for the vast Volga region. The mighty clifftop kremlin overlooking the confluence of two wide rivers – the Volga and the Oka – is magnificent with its 2 km brick fortress wall and 13 watchtowers. It offers a breathtaking view of the city and its waterfront. It is only 403 km from Moscow and flying time is just over an hour.
Venue: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
This will be a new stadium with a capacity of just over 45,000. After the tournament it will be the home to local club Olympiets Nizhny Novgorod. The stadium will host six matches in total including four group matches, one Round of 16 match and a Quarterfinal.
Host City: Rostov-on-Don
Rostov-on-Don is situated 1109 km due south of Moscow and only a two hour flight from the capital. It’s southern Russia’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, as well as an important industrial center. Flowing through the city is the Don River, celebrated in many novels of the Russian Civil War.
Venue: Rostov Arena
This will also be a new stadium being built on the left bank of the Don River. In keeping with the legacy theme, this stadium will host home games from the local team FC Rostov who were the 2014 Russian Cup winners. The capacity will be just over 45,000 and the stadium will host five matches; four group matches and one Round of 16 match.
Host City: Saint Petersburg
Despite being the second largest city in Russia, it is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and promises to be an unforgettable travel experience with lavish architecture, wild nightlife, extraordinary historical and cultural exhibits. Because of the meandering Neva River delta throughout the city, this is commonly known as the Venice of the North. Peter the Great employed a host of European architects to add Italianate mansions and striking cathedrals and plazas decked with baroque and neoclassical palaces.
Venue: Saint Petersburg Stadium
Saint Petersburg’s new, super-modern stadium is being built on the site of the Kirov Stadium. It will live up to its reputation as it will have a retractable roof and a sliding pitch, and will be able to host any type of event at any time of the year. After the tournament it will be home to Zenit St. Petersburg. It will have a capacity of 68,000 and will host seven matches in total; four group matches (including the host team, Russia), a Round of 16 match, a Semi-final and the Third Place match.
Host City: Samara
Samara is 1057 km and 1.5 hrs flight time from Moscow. It is located southeast of the capital and has a population of over a million people. It is the capital of its region, standing on the left high bank of the Volga River. It is a major economic, transport, scientific, educational and cultural center of the country.
Venue: Samara Arena
This new stadium will be built to resemble a space ship as a nod to the aeronautical industry which has deep roots in the region. It will have a capacity of just under 45,000 and will host six games; four group matches (including the host team, Russia), a Round of 16 and Quarterfinal match.
Host City: Saransk
Saransk is a city in the eastern part of Central Russia, the capital of the Republic of Mordovia, standing on both banks of the Insar River, 656 km southeast of Moscow. It is easily accessible from the capital as it only takes an hour and fifteen minutes to fly direct. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia and is world-famous for it’s sport achievements. Very modern and European looking streets are attracting thousands of tourists every year.
Venue: Mordovia Arena
This arena is being newly built for the World Cup in the centre of the city, on the bank of the Insar River. It will home to MC Mordovia after the tournament.. It will host four group stage matches and have a capacity of over 44,000.
Host City: Sochi
Sochi rose in prominence when it played host to the world for the Winter Olympics in 2014. This resort city is located on the Black Sea and boasts 140 km of coast, hence, its nickname “Russian Riviera”. It is the southernmost place in Russia and is about 1,600 km south of Moscow. The forests surrounding the city are a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the black sea on one side and the Caucasus Mountains on the other, it’s no wonder it is also called the Black Sea Pearl. Sochi has many attractions to offer for anyone who loves nature, sports, history and sunny beach leisure.
Venue: Fisht Stadium
This stadium was built for the Winter Olympics in February 2014 and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies. Some minor changes include temporary stands behind the goals at each end of the stadium. It will have a capacity of 47,700 and will host six games in total; four group stage matches, one Round of 16 match and one Quarterfinal.
Host City: Volgograd
This city is one of the fastest growing tourist centers in the south of Russia with a long tradition of historical tourism. The city was the scene of one of the most important and bloodiest battles that changed the course of WWII and was completely destroyed in the process. It has since been rebuilt with Stalinesque grandeur and attracts many visitors year round. It is located along the west bank of the Volga River in Southern Russia, is about 941 km from Moscow and only takes about an hour and forty five minutes flight time.
Venue: Volgograd Arena
This newly built arena will be built on the site of the demolished Central Stadium at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex, near the Volga River. It will host four group stage matches and will have a capacity of 45,568.
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