Cities hosting FIFA World Cup 2018
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia. That is what FIFA decided on December 2, 2010. 13 Russian cities sent bids to host the event and 11 sites won to host the forthcoming championships. So, what are the cities that are hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup? The World Championship matches will take place in Moscow, Sochi, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Saransk, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad.
When it comes to Moscow, 3 stadiums of the capital were considered as possible sites, including the Luzhniki, Spartak and Dinamo. Eventually, FIFA commission narrowed the list to the Luzhniki and Spartak only. The biggest of the two stadiums, the Luzhniki will host the opening ceremony.
Here is the list of the cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
– Nizhny Novgorod
– Saint Petersburg
A total of 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities have been built and renovated for the FIFA World Cup.
Samara: Samara Arena. The construction officially started on 21 July 2014. The project was completed on 21 April 2018.
Nizhny Novgorod: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. The construction of the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium commenced in 2015. The project was completed in December 2017.
Volgograd: Volgograd Arena. The main arena of Volgograd was built on the demolished Central Stadium site, at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The stadium was commissioned on 3 April 2018.
Ekaterinburg: Ekaterinburg Arena. The Central Stadium of Ekaterinburg has been renovated for the FIFA World Cup. The arena’s stands will have a capacity of 35,000 spectators. The renovation project was completed in December 2017.
Saransk: Mordovia Arena. The stadium in Saransk was scheduled to be commissioned in 2012 in time for the opening of the all-Russian Spartakiad, but the plan was revised. The opening was rescheduled to 2017. The arena hosted its first match on 21 April 2018.
Rostov-on-Don: Rostov Arena. The stadium is located on the left bank of the Don River. The stadium construction was completed on 22 December 2017.
Kaliningrad: Kaliningrad Stadium. The first piles were driven into the ground in September 2015. On 11 April 2018 the new stadium hosted its first match.
Kazan: Kazan Arena. The stadium was built for the 2013 Summer Universiade. It has since hosted the 2015 World Aquatics Championship and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The stadium serves as a home arena to FC Rubin Kazan.
Moscow: Spartak Stadium. The stadium is a home arena to its namesake FC Spartak Moscow. In accordance with the FIFA requirements, during the 2018 World Cup it is called Spartak Stadium instead of its usual name Otkritie Arena. The stadium hosted its first match on 5 September 2014.
Sochi: Fisht Stadium. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Afterwards, it was renovated in preparation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup.
Saint Petersburg: Saint Petersburg Stadium. The construction of the stadium commenced in 2007. The project was officially completed on 29 December 2016. The stadium has hosted games of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and will serve as a venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.
Moscow: Luzhniki Stadium. The largest stadium in the country was closed for renovation in 2013. The stadium was commissioned in November 2017.
World Cup 2018 Ekaterinburg, Russia
Ekaterinburg is called the Urals’ capital. This is the fourth biggest city in Russia attracting young people from the Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Perm Regions as well as Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. 2 million people inhabit the city, 80% being Russians, however there are many other ethnic groups in the city. The fourth biggest transport junction passes through the city, including six cross-country motorways, seven railroad lines and an international airport. This makes Ekaterinburg a link between the European and the Asian parts of Russia and gates to the wealth of Siberia. Ekaterinburg is one of the biggest and the most beautiful cities in Russia. People here love football and have a strong deep-rooted tradition of supporting sports teams. No wonder that Ekaterinburg will become the easternmost city to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup games. This is the only city of the Eastern cluster. The renovated Central stadium will host 4 WC group stage matches. Apart from the stadium and training facilities, there will be a fan-zone in V. Mayakovsky Central Park of Culture and Recreation. Another place of attraction for football fans will be the historical centre, which was used as a gathering place for football fans during 2014 World Cup. The citizens of Ekaterinburg will be able to use the renovated park when the championship is over.
World Cup 2018 Kaliningrad, Russia
Kaliningrad today is a large equipment manufacturing and metal-working centre of the country, it also has well-developed light industry, printing and fishing industries. The city has been attracting more and more tourists every year wishing to visit unique historical sights and amusing museums. Cultural life of the city centres around theatres, major libraries, that hold among other books, the Medieval book archive, the so-called Vallenrodt library. There is a zoo, a botanic garden in the city. Every city prepared for the WC-2018 games in a different way and on different stages. In 2014 Kaliningrad lacked behind the most of all the cities, but today a lot has been done to change the situation and win the honourable place to host th FIFA World Cup. According to N. Tsukanov, the Kaliningrad Region’s Governor, the city will be fully ready to host the games by 2018. Apart from sports’ facilities, it is planned to construct additional hotels and the hoteliers will be sponsored by the government. According to the preliminary estimations, by 2018 over 20 hotels with different level of services will be opened in the city. Nevertheless, due to some compulsory savings, the most of the hotels will have 4 or less stars to ensure economic efficiency. The Kaliningrad-Arena stadium will host 4 matches of the group stage.
World Cup 2018 Kazan, Russia
Kazan has long been and currently remains an intermediating link between the East and the West in terms of trade, economics, international affairs and culture. The city is included into the UNESCO World Heritage list. It continues to grow and develop in all the directions. Kazan is a unique city, one of the most sports-oriented cities in Russia. It has recently hosted many world-scale sports events, including the World Aquatics Championships and the Universiade. So, the city is entirely ready to host and top-level games and accommodate spectators any time. By the way, the cutting-edge stadium is built in the city. There is a wide range of hotels– while preparing of the Universiade, chain hotels were opened here as well as hotels constructed by local investors. So, accommodation will not be a problem at all. Besides, students’ hostels vacated in summer will also be converted into hotels. The referees and footballers will stay in new apart-hotels near Millennium. Kazan-Arena stadium has long been finished to house the football matches. No other events are taking place there, so the stadium is fully available for the Kazan football team called Rubin.
World Cup 2018 Moscow, Russia
Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation, the administrative centre for the Central Federal District and the centre of the Moscow Region. Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world and the biggest one in Russia in terms of its population. Despite the rapid growth and drastic changes in its appearance, Moscow has always been true to its traditions. The city has always been the centre of political, international and cultural events and attraction for more and more tourists. The FIFA World Cup is of paramount importance to Russia. For the first time in history, such an event will be held in a CIS country, it will involve two continents – both Europe and Asia, at a time! The main city housing the competition will be Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation and the biggest city in the country. The main stadium, the top country’s pitch, will be the Luzhniki stadium, recognized as an elite class by the UEFA in 2008. Still, it will have to be renovated for the championships. The stadium will house both the opening and the closing ceremonies of the tournament. The FC Spartak’s stadium Otkrytie-Arena and Kazan-Arena are the only facilities ready for the games. Spartak’s stadium has been in operation for the whole season hosting local clubs’ and teams’ matches. With 45 thousand seats, location near Tushino metro station and the cutting-edge technology, it will certainly impress the Western fans. Moscow hotels and apartments are notoriously expensive, so not everybody can afford them. Specially for such people, an Olympic village is to provide economy-class housing for 10-15 thousand tourists, which is being built at the moment. There will be cycling and jogging lanes near the village and the bank of the Moscow River nearby will also be renovated.
World Cup 2018 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Nizhny Novgorod is the administrative centre for the Privolzhsky Federal District located at the junction of the Oka and the Volga rivers in the central part of the East-European valley. Today Nizhny Novgorod is, by right, the centre of Volga-Vyatka economic region being home for the largest equipment manufacturing plants, metal-working, food, medical and wood-working industries. The Nizhny Novgorod fairy houses international exhibitions on an annual basis. The city is listed in the 100 UNESCO cities due to its numerous unique and well-preserved historical and architectural monuments and sites, which makes the city attractive to both Russian and foreign tourists. The city is the centre of the cruise tourism too. The preparation for the championship is going on as planned. The first thing that needed to be done was to construct a stadium for 45 thousand people, which is going to be completed on time. However, the stadium was not the only thing the city needed. There is a range of projects to be completed by the time of the tournament. The hospitality industry was also affected. Instead of building 25 new hotels, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation suggested renovating 14 facilities and building 9 new ones of the same class for guests and FIFA representatives, the championship participants, fans and journalists. Nizhny Novgorod is going to host 4 group stage matches. Besides, the regional authorities managed to win the right for hosting 2 play-off games – the 1/8 and ¼ finals. Therefore, the Volzhsk cluster will be among the most important ones for the FIFA World Cup, along with Samara and Kazan, which will also house key play-off matches.
World Cup 2018 Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Rostov-on-Don is the cultural and administrative center of Rostov region occupying the South of Russia, and also one of the regions’ largest cities in Russia and the city of military glory. Rostov is a beautiful and picturesque city known across the country as the manufacturer of agricultural equipment, namely combine machinery. It is also a perfect city for tourists since it has a rich history, lots of sights and the atmosphere of the Russian southern resort. The region is famous for its delicious food and various entertainment activities. Rostov is not only the administrative center of the region, but also the cultural, trade and industrial center of the south of Russia, often nicknamed the Gate to Caucasus and the Southern Capital of Russia. As soon as FIFA approved holding the matches in the city, it started to get ready for this important event and renovated lots of city sites.
World Cup 2018 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Saint Petersburg is the second largest and the most important city of the country, often called the Northern capital of the Russian Federation. The city was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. It now covers 606 square km and the total of 1,439 square km including the suburbs. In the end of May there are nights of the midnight sun, when the city is wonderful for the nights are as light as days called the white nights. This season lasts for about 50 days, until mid-June. Saint Petersburg has a rich history and amazing architecture with the highest concentration of different amusements and monuments. Precise architecture with broad central streets, splendid squares and thousands of unique buildings are exciting tourist attractions to read from the history books or architectural manuals. St. Petersburg, just like Moscow, is the central ground for the FIF World Cup in 2018 and it is well prepared for the WC-2018 games. The Northern capital has always had a good transportation system and all the necessary tourist infrastructure. It can be explained very simply. Saint Petersburg got used to welcoming tourists, so it has all tourists’ signs, e-maps and guidebooks ready. Besides, the airport is being renovated to ensure a worthy reception to the coming football fans. Pulkovo-1 and Pulkovo-2 terminals have been built just recently. They welcome hundreds of flights from all over Europe, but it is not enough for the FIFA World Cup. To ensure safety, the plan is to divide the airport into three zones: the air-zone, the railroad-zone and the security zone.
World Cup 2018 Samara, Russia
Samara is the largest city in the Middle Povolzhie Region, the centre of Povolzhsky region and the seventh largest city in Russia. Samara is one of the biggest transportation, industrial, business, cultural and scientific centers of Russia. The city is located on the left bank of the Volga River between its two tributaries, the Samara and the Sok. The city’s architectural style should really attract lovers of the old art of building. There are 5 theaters, lots of museums and galleries, Oleg Popov Samara State Circus, a zoo in the city. Music festivals and other cultural events take place there on a regular basis. Samara too became the city to host the FIFA World Cup matches in 2018.
World Cup 2018 Saransk, Russia
Saransk is the central town in the Republic of Mordovia. A few years ago, the town did not attract many tourists, so there were few people wishing to attend the city with touristic purposes. The city has changed today. The city of Saransk has been developing its infrastructure and flourishing ever since 2012. It was the year when there was announcement that this regional undistinguished town would host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
World Cup 2018 Sochi, Russia
Sochi is the main balneological resort-city on the coast of the Black Sea and home for the 12th Winter Olympics of 2014. The city has lots of architectural sights, churches, squares and fountains, splendid churches, exotic southern plants and flowers. The main landmarks around the city, created by the nature itself, include waterfalls, caves, cliffs and crevices on the territory of the Sochi National park spread from Tuapse Region to Abkhazia. International transport routs link Sochi to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Murmansk, Yekaterinburg, Blagoveshchensk, Perm, Saratov and others major Russian cities. Sochi will host 2018 FIFA World Cup games. The guests and the participants will enjoy the exciting event and appreciate the cultural diversity of the country. Unlike most other cities, Sochi already had all the facilities needed to host the sports’ event including the modern stadium and all necessary sports and touristic infrastructure. The South-Sports base will become a training facility for the participants. The base has two large pitches and a 144-room hotel complex for the foreign footballers. The championship will be held at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, known for its unique design.
World Cup 2018 in Volgograd, Russia
Volgograd is located in the south-eastern part of the Russian Federation. It is officially recognized as a hero-city. It should be said that tourists from all over the world visit it every year and it is not due to its rich history only. Volgograd is also famous for various outdoor activities it provides. Tourists are offered all kinds of entertainment and have many possibilities to have a good time and spend their leisure with pleasure, interest and some profits. Volgograd may not have a thousand-year history, but it has had its share of ordeals. The city has had three names, Tsaritsyn (1589-1925), Stalingrad (1925-1961) and, finally, Volgograd, each name signifying an important milestone in its development. The most important event for the city and for the whole history of the Great Patriotic War is the Battle of Stalingrad. The most important sights in the city are connected to this event. Volgograd will host group stage matches of the FIFA World Cup (the Volzhsk cluster). There will be totally 4 matches here, with no play-off games. Besides, Volgograd will provide training facilities for the World Cup participants. A new hotel Hampton by Hilton Volgograd Profsoyuznaya has been opened recently and has already been recognized as the Best Hotel of the Hilton International Corporation. Another hotel, Park Inn by Radisson has been built near the railway station in the city