The last time I wrote a stadium review was before the 2016 Euro in France. Initially, I didn’t think about doing a stadium review for the next World Cup, but after reading an article in The Telegraph named: “10 Futuristic football stadiums we can’t wait to watch matches at the next 5 years”, one stadium particularly caught my attention.
The Volgograd Arena, a new stadium built especially for the 2018 World Cup, will be a 45,568 all-seater stadium according to FIFA’s notes. But this is not what worries me, a word that is often used when it comes to major events is legacy. The legacy of this stadium is to be the home of FC Rotor Volgograd, a club in the third tier of Russian football, with an average attendance of 2,300 so far in 9 games this year.(European football statistics.co.uk). Figures for the previous season were not available.
The investment in this stadium is estimated at 16.37 billion Russian Rubles according to stadium DB’s information, which is the equivalent to around €257M. I really hope that secondary uses for this stadium are in place as there is no way this stadium will be sustainable just by FC Rotor occupying it.
Just looking at the state of the iconic Maracana in Brazil nowadays makes you wonder what the future after the World Cup in Russia will hold for its stadiums. Now it’s the time to see what the rest of the stadiums have to offer.
(Picture-Guito Moreto, Globo, via stadiumdb.com)
Kaliningrad Stadium: Seems to be another controversial stadium. After the World Cup, it is supposed to be the home of FK Baltika Kaliningrad, a club in the second division of Russian football with an average attendance of 4,600 during the 2015-16 season. The stadium had problems with the designing company when it went bankrupt in 2013. The change of the designing company increased the costs from 10 billion Rubles to 15 billion Rubles and even that eventually was insufficient (stadiumdb). Now the estimated cost of the stadium is around 17.5 billion Rubles which is €275M.
Ekaterinburg Stadium: Home of FK Ural has been refurbished to fit the World Cup. The club in the first division of Russian football had an average attendance of 5,600 during the 2015-16 season. In its final design, the capacity is expected to be 35,600.Construction costs are estimated at 12.7 billion Rubles(€200M).However, it is not stated from which phase of the construction.
Fisht Stadium: Located in Sochi and was built for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The stadium will undergo reconstruction for the World Cup with temporary stands being built on previous technical areas. The capacity is expected to be around 47,000 whereas the estimated cost is unclear. Post World Cup this stadium is expected to host training camps and friendly matches of the Russian national team. Other events are also expected to take place.
Kazan Arena: This stadium was built for the World University Games in 2013 and when the tournament was over it became the home of Rubin Kazan. The arena is multifunctional and hosted swimming events in 2015, although the swimming pools were built specifically for the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. Rubin manages to have an average attendance of 11,800 while the Arena’s capacity is 44,700. The estimated cost of the stadium is 15.5 billion Rubles (€243M).
Nizhni Novgorod Stadium: Brace yourselves, FIFA’s website shows that the legacy of this stadium will be the home of local club FK Volga until recently a second division club, too bad the club collapsed due to high debts at the end of the 2015-16 season and doesn’t exist at the moment. This new stadium cost around 17 billion Rubles (€266M).
Luzhinki Stadium: The main stadium of the tournament in 2013 has gone refurbishment. It is expected to continue its legacy and host Russia’s national team matches in the future with plans for the athletic track to be restored post-World Cup. The capacity is expected to grow from 78,000 to 81,000 with the project estimated at 19 billion Rubles (€298M)
Samara Stadium:A new stadium that after the World Cup will be home to Krylya Sovetov, currently playing in the Russian top division. The average attendance for the 2015-16 season stands at 11,100. The current stadium, Metallurg, has a capacity of 33,000. The estimated construction is 18.2 billion Rubles (€285M)
Rostov on Don Stadium: A new stadium which will act as the home of FK Rostov post-World Cup. The club currently plays in the Russian top division. The average attendance for the 2015-16 stands at 13,300. The capacity of the current stadium is 17,000. The estimated cost of the new stadium is 19.4 billion Rubles (€303M).
Spartak Stadium: A new stadium and is the home of Spartak Moscow since 2014. After the World Cup a residential construction project should take place. Spartak had the highest attendance last season among the top division clubs with an average of 25,000. The stadium’s capacity is 43,300. The construction cost is estimated at around $340M.
Saint Petersburg Stadium:A new stadium which will be the home of Zenit. The stadium is expected to host other venues as well such as concerts and will take part in the Euro 2020 tournament. The stadium’s capacity will be 68,130. Zenit’s average attendance for last season stands at 16,800 in a 21,800 stadium. The cost of the new stadium is estimated at around 42.8 billion Rubles (€670M). Cost inflation and corruption are part of this staggering amount and the city was even left without any federal grants.
Saransk Stadium (Mordovia Arena)– a new stadium that will be the home of FK Mordovia. The club was relegated from the top division last season and had the lowest average attendance in the league, 5,300. The current stadium, Start Stadium, has a capacity of 11,000. The new stadium’s capacity will be 44,400 only for the World Cup and will be reduced after it to 25,000 to make it more efficient. It is expected to host other sports such as basketball and volleyball. The cost is estimated at 15.8 billion Rubles (€247M)
Whether the low attendances in Russian football will grow thanks to new facilities remains unknown but can have a positive effect. Some of the legacies the stadiums are expected to leave are concerning and must remain under inspection with secondary uses other than football games is vital. Spasiva.
All cost data is taken from stadiumdb.com
Attendance figures are from european-football-statistics.co.uk
General information via FIFA’s website.
Ruble to Euro exchange rate 1:0.016 on 20/01/17