The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will see the first and last matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Luzhniki has a capacity of 81,000, which makes it the largest stadium at this year’s tournament. Russia and Saudi Arabia will play the opening match at the Luzhniki on June 14th. Five weeks later, the venue will close the tournament with the World Cup Final.
Home to Spartak Moscow, the Otkrytiye Arena was opened in 2014. The stadium can hold over 43,000 fans, and it will see five matches at the 2018 World Cup. Located in Moscow, the Otkrytiye will be one of two venues in the city to host games. The first match to be played on the stadium’s pitch will be the Group D match between Argentina and Iceland. The stadium will finish its World Cup experience with the round of 16 games between the winner of Group H and the runner-up of Group G.
Home to Zenit St. Petersburg, the Krestovsky will host seven matches at the World Cup, including the third-place game on July 14th. Opened in 2017, the magnificent Krestovsky Stadium cost $1 billion to build. The capacity for the tournament has been increased to 67,000 fans.
The Kaliningrad Stadium is located in the westernmost city hosting World Cup matches. Kaliningrad is not a part of the Russian mainland, and the city is over 1,200 kilometers away from Moscow; which means teams will spend plenty of time traveling from the venue to other stadiums. Opened in 2018, the Kaliningrad Stadium will be completed just in time for the tournament. The 35,000-seat capacity stadium will host four group matches.
The Kazan Arena was opened in 2013 and is the home venue for Russian club Rubin Kazan. The 45,000-plus capacity stadium will host six matches, including a quarterfinal game on July 6th. The stadium has Europe’s largest outdoor viewing screen.
The Cosmos Arena is as futuristic looking as its name suggests. Opened in 2017, the Cosmos Arena is home to Russian team FC Krylia Sovetov Samara. The venue holds just under 45,000 fans. Six matches will take place at the Cosmos Arena, including a quarterfinal game on July 7th.
Construction crews broke ground on the Mordovia Arena in 2010 and construction will be completed in 2018 just before the World Cup kicks off. Following the World Cup, the stadium will be the home venue of FC Mordovia Saransk. The stadium will hold over 44,400 fans when it opens for tournament play. An interesting fact about the Mordovia Arena is the grass pitch has been imported from Canada.
The Rostov Arena will host five World Cup matches. Its final appearance at the tournament will be on July 2nd when the winner of Group G plays the runner-up of Group H. The Rostov Arena will hold a capacity of 45,000 fans. Following the tournament, the stadium will be reconfigured to 42,000 seats as the home ground of FC Rostov.
The Fisht Olympic Stadium was built for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. The stadium was redesigned after the Games and it now serves as a training center for Russia’s national football team. The 47,000-plus capacity stadium will host six World Cup matches. The first will take place on June 15th between Portugal and Spain; while the final match will be a quarterfinal played on July 7th.
Yekaterinburg’s Central Stadium is already the most famous venue at this year’s World Cup. The venue had to be redesigned at the last minute due to its lack of seats. The architects decided the best way to fix the problem was to remove one of the stadium’s walls and build a stand that goes outside of the arena. The stadium will hold over 35,000 fans per match and four group matches will be played in Yekaterinburg. The stadium is also the Easternmost venue at this year’s World Cup and is over 1,700 kilometers from Moscow.
Opened in 2017, the Volgograd Arena holds over 45,000 fans. The outside of the stadium is reminiscent of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, China. The venue is built on the site of the city’s previous football venue, the Central Stadium. The former home of FC Rotor Volgograd was demolished in 2014 to make way for the new stadium. Four group matches will be held at the stadium.
Six matches will be played at the nearly 45,000-seat Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. The venue was opened in 2017. The stadium is located in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, which has long been an important city in the country. The city was built on the Volga River, and when fans aren’t at the matches, they can experience the unique history of Nizhny Novgorod.