World Cup 2018: Stadium Guide

With FIFA's showpiece event just days away, we look at the venues that will be hosting the World Cup matches in Russia this summer.

REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The quadrennial race to develop a selection of stadia fit for hosting the world’s greatest soccer show is nearly over. 

Most went over budget and many are still being worked on but Russia’s 12 venues will to be ready to host 65 matches, even if it means putting temporary stands up, over the course of a month beginning and ending at the 81,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Here is everything you need to know about the stadiums at this year’s World Cup.

1. Luzhniki Stadium

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Most of the original Luzhniki Stadium was razed to the ground in 2013. A few features have been kept, but the project was essentially a rebuild. The venue is next to the river in the Khamovniki District of the capital and will host seven matches including the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia and the final on the 15 July.

Capacity: 81,000

Cost: €350 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 14, 2018, 18:00: Russia vs. Saudi Arabia (Group A)    

June 17, 2018, 18:00: Germany vs. Mexico (Group F)         

June 20, 2018, 15:00: Portugal vs. Morocco (Group B)       

June 26, 2018, 17:00: Denmark vs. France (Group C)          

July 1, 2018, 17:00: Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A (Round of 16)              

July 11, 2018, 21:00: Winner Match 59 vs. Winner Match 60 (Semi-final)   

July 15, 2018, 18:00: Winner Match 61 vs. Winner Match 62 (Final)

2. Saint Petersburg Stadium

REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The Saint Petersburg Stadium (AKA Krestovsky Stadium) lies a little over 700km northwest of Moscow and results from a ten-year project that went 500% over budget. 

A 68,000 capacity venue was officially inaugurated on June 17, 2017, when it hosted the opening match of the 2017 Confederations Cup between Russia and New Zealand. It will host seven World Cup match including one semi-final and the third-place playoff. The Stadium is home of Russian Premier League side FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Capacity: 67,000

Cost: €900 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 15, 2018, 18:00: Morocco vs. Iran (Group B)                

June 19, 2018, 21:00: Russia vs. Egypt (Group A) 

June 22, 2018, 15:00: Brazil vs. Costa Rica (Group E)            

June 26, 2018, 21:00: Nigeria vs. Argentina (Group D)        

July 3, 2018, 17:00: Winner Group F vs. Runner-up Group E (Round of 16)               

July 10, 2018, 21:00: Winner Match 57 vs. Winner Match 58 (Semi-final)   

July 14, 2018, 17:00: Loser Match 61 vs. Loser Match 62 (Third place play-off)

3. Fisht Stadium

A trip south to the Black Sea coast takes us to the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. The 41,220 capacity arena hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and will receive six World Cup matches including the mouth-watering group stage clash between Portugal and Spain on June 15.

Capacity: 41,220

Cost: €663 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 15, 2018, 21:00: Portugal vs. Spain (Group B)              

June 18, 2018, 18:00: Belgium vs. Panama (Group G)         

June 23, 2018, 21:00: Germany vs. Sweden (Group F)       

June 26, 2018, 17:00: Australia vs. Peru (Group C)               

June 30, 2018, 21:00: Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B (Round of 16)          

July 7, 2018, 21:00: Winner Match 51 vs. Winner Match 52 (Quarter-finals)

4. Rostov Arena

REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

The Rostov Arena is situated on the Don River just two kilometres from the Black Sea. The stadium was purpose-built for the World Cup and can accommodate 45,000 spectators. It will host four group games, including Brazil’s match against Switzerland, and one Round of 16 match. Following the tournament, it will become the home of FC Rostov.

Capacity: 45,000

Cost: €266 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 17, 2018, 21:00: Brazil vs. Switzerland (Group E)        

June 20, 2018, 18:00: Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia (Group A)                

June 23, 2018, 18:00: South Korea vs. Mexico (Group F)   

June 26, 2018, 21:00: Iceland vs. Croatia (Group D)             

July 2, 2018, 21:00: Winner Group G vs. Runner-up Group H (Round of 16)

5. Nizhny Novogorod Stadium

Another new-build, the 44.899 capacity Nizhny Novgorod Stadium will entertain six matches including England’s clash with Panama on June 24, before Russian Premier League side FC Olimpiyets Nizhny Novgorod takes up residency. The venue is located 400km east of Moscow.

Capacity: 44,899

Cost: €246 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 18, 2018, 15:00: Sweden vs. South Korea (Group F)                 

June 21, 2018, 21:00: Argentina vs. Croatia (Group D)        

June 24, 2018, 15:00: England vs. Panama (Group G)         

June 27, 2018, 21:00: Switzerland vs. Costa Rica (Group E)              

July 1, 2018, 21:00: Winner Group D vs. Runner-up Group C (Round of 16)              

July 6, 2018, 17:00: Winner Match 49 vs. Winner Match 50 (Quarter-finals)

6. Samara Arena

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The 45,000 capacity Samara Arena (AKA the Cosmos Arena) will host four group stage matches, one Round of 16 clash and one quarter-final on July 7. After the tournament, FC Krylia Sovetov Samara will use the stadium for their club games. 

Capacity: 44,918

Cost: €272 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 17, 2018, 16:00: Costa Rica vs. Serbia (Group E)          

June 21, 2018, 16:00: Denmark vs, Australia (Group C)      

June 25, 2018, 18:00: Uruguay vs. Russia (Group A)            

June 28, 2018, 18:00: Senegal vs. Colombia (Group H)       

July 2, 2018, 18:00: Winner Group E vs. Runner-up Group F (Round of 16)               

July 7, 2018, 18:00: Winner Match 55 vs. Winner Match 56 (Quarter-finals)

7. Kazan Arena

The Kazan Arena will host four group stage matches, one Round of 16 clash and one quarter-final on July 6. The venue was opened in 2013 and best-known for having the largest outside screen of any stadium in Europe. As well as hosting the World Cup and the Federations Cup, the arena is also home to Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan. 

Capacity: 45,379

Cost: €383 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 16, 2018, 13:00: France vs. Australia (Group C)           

June 20, 2018, 21:00: Iran vs. Spain (Group B)       

June 24, 2018, 21:00: Poland vs. Colombia (Group H)         

June 27, 2018, 17:00: South Korea vs. Germany (Group F)               

June 30, 2018, 17:00: Winner Group C vs. Runner-up Group D (Round of 16)          

July 6, 2018, 21:00: Winner Match 53 vs. Winner Match 54 (Quarter-finals)

8. Mordovia Arena

The Mordovia Arena in Saransk is home to FC Mordovia Saransk and will host four World Cup group stage matches. It holds 45,000 spectators but that will be reduced to 28,000 after the tournament as the upper tier is converted into retail facilities. The venue’s design represents the sun, an important symbol to the Mordovian people.

Capacity: 44,442

Cost: €255 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 16, 2018, 19:00: Peru vs. Denmark (Group C)              

June 19, 2018, 15:00: Colombia vs. Japan (Group H)           

June 25, 2018, 21:00: Iran vs. Portugal (Group B) 

June 28, 2018, 21:00: Panama vs. Tunisia (Group G)

9. Volgograd Stadium

REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

The Volgograd Stadium lies 100km south of Moscow. It broke ground in 2015 but has only recently been completed. The 45,000-capacity complex will host four group stage game before current tenants FC Rotor Volgograd move back in. England will face Tunisia there on June 18.

Capacity: 45,568

Cost: €225 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 18, 2018, 21:00: Tunisia vs. England (Group G)            

June 22, 2018, 18:00: Nigeria vs. Iceland (Group D)             

June 25, 2018, 17:00: Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt (Group A)      

June 28, 2018, 17:00: Japan vs. Poland (Group H)

10. Spartak Stadium

The Spartak Stadium (normally known as the Otkritie Arena) is the second World Cup stadium to be located in Moscow. Home to Spartak Moscow, the 45,000-capacity venue was constructed between 2007 and 2014. It was one of four stadia used for last year’s Confederations Cup and will play host to five World Cup matches.

Capacity: 45,360

Cost: €366 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 16, 2018, 16:00: Argentina vs. Iceland (Group D)       

June 19, 2018, 18:00: Poland vs. Senegal (Group H)            

June 23, 2018, 15:00: Belgium vs. Tunisia (Group G)           

June 27, 2018, 21:00: Serbia vs. Brazil (Group E)   

July 3, 2018, 21:00: Winner Group H vs. Runner-up Group G (Round of 16)

11. Kaliningrad Stadium

The smallest stadium on the list, the Kaliningrad Stadium holds just 35,000. Located in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, the newly built arena will host four group stage games including England’s showdown with Belgium on June 28. At the tournament’s end, it will be transformed into the home of FC Baltika Kaliningrad.

Capacity: 35,212

Cost: €257 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 16, 2018, 21:00: Croatia vs. Nigeria (Group D)             

June 22, 2018, 20:00: Serbia vs. Switzerland (Group E)        

June 25, 2018, 20:00: Spain vs. Morocco (Group B)               

June 28, 2018, 20:00: England vs. Belgium (Group G)

12. Ekaterinburg Arena

The demands of hosting a World Cup can cause some oddball stadia and the Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg is no exception. In order to meet FIFA’s strict capacity criteria, a segment of the stadium was cut out and a temporary stand built in the space. The result is a 36,000 capacity venue that will play host to four group stage matches including France vs Peru on June 21.

Capacity: 35.696

Cost: €174 million

World Cup fixtures:

June 15, 2018, 17:00 Egypt vs. Uruguay (Group A)               

June 21, 2018, 20:00 France vs. Peru (Group C)    

June 24, 2018, 20:00 Japan vs. Senegal (Group H)

June 27, 2018, 19:00 Mexico vs. Sweden (Group F)

What do you think of Russia's World Cup stadia? Do you have a favourite? Lets us know in the comments!

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