Russia and the 2018 World Cup

Russia_2018_World_Cup

The 2018 World Cup will be played in Russia.  Moscow will be considered the host city and we couldn’t ask for a much better place.  It has some of the best shopping, nightlife, restaurants, and culture of anywhere in the world.

There are 11 million people who call Moscow home.  It has three international airports and the world’s second busiest subway system.

Luzhniki Stadium is at the center of the Olympic complex.  It will be the main venue and the heart and soul of the 2018 games.  The Opening Match, semi finals, and finals will all be played here.  Built back in 1956 and has played host to the 1980 Summer Olympics, ice hockey championships, concerts, and more than 3,000 soccer matches.  It’s been the home stadium for Spartak, CSKA, and Torpedo.

The other stadiums that will be used are:

Kaliningrad Stadium – an island that has only recently been developed.  FC Baltic Kaliningrad will use this stadium as their home base starting in 2019.

Volgograd Stadium – This stadium is going up at the site of the previous Central stadium.  It will be home to FC Rotor.

Ekaterinburg Arena – FC Ural’s home stadium.  It was built in 1953 but has been refurbished several times since then.

Fisht Stadium – located in the Olympic Park in Sochi, it was built for the 2014 Winter Olympics.  This is where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were.

Kazan Arena – This stadium was built in 2013 for the Summer World University Games.  It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies with the first match being played in August 2013.

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium – One of the best locations for the tournament. Very cool setting next to the Volga and Oka rivers and offers a wonderful view of the Kremlin and the local Cathedral.

Samara Arena – will be built in the Radiotsentr district.  Construction has started and this place should be surrounded by a residential district and quality infrastructure.  FC Krylya Sovetov will use this as their home location starting in 2019.

Rostov Arena – located on the left bank of the Don River.  This is a tourist hot spot that has been expanding rapidly in recent years.  The most recent winner of the Russian Cup, FC Rostov, will call this their home.

Spartak Stadium – the recently opened home of Spartak Moscow.  It holds 45,000 people and once the World Cup is finished the surrounding area will be developed for residential use.

Saint Petersburg Stadium – a very new modern stadium built on Krestovsky Island.  It replaced Kirov Stadium, which was the country’s largest holding 110,000 people.  In 2020, this arena will host three matches in the group stage of Euro 2020.

Moldavia Arena – located in Saransk, this stadium will be built in the center of the city on the bank of the Insar River.  FC Moldavia will call this stadium home after the World Cup.

Those are the locations the games will be played in.  Now we just need to learn who qualifies, who will be playing who, and what locations they will be sent to.  It’s getting close to time, and I can hardly wait!