Top Stadiums for the 2018 World Cup

The 2018 World Cup is just a few weeks away, and teams are making their final preparations. It is about this time that fans all around the world are packing their bags and preparing for the trip to Russia where they will cheer on their team as they take to the field. For most, this will be a first-time visit to Russia, while others may be familiar with the Mother Country. One thing is guaranteed though, just about everyone will be experiencing the stadiums for the first time.

Despite a few hiccups, Russia is finally ready to receive the world. We take a look at some of the biggest and best stadiums for this year’s tournament.

Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Officially Russia’s largest sporting ground, the Luzhniki has the capacity to hold 81,000 cheering football fans. Based in Moscow, it was originally completed in 1956. Back then it was known as the Central Lenin Stadium and formed the base for the 1980 Olympics. In 1996, the grounds were completely renovated, and over the past few years it has received even more improvements. The Luzhniki will host a total of 7 games, including the semi-final and the final.

Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg

While it may not be the biggest of venues, The Ekaterinburg Arena tops the list for innovation and design. For the first time ever, it will allow spectators to be seated outside the arena. Similar to the Luzhniki, the Ekaterinburg Arena is built within an existing protective wall, but is certainly not the same size. In fact, it fell short of the minimum requirement for World Cup games at 45,000. To increase the capacity for the 2018 World Cup, 2 temporary stands have been erected outside at each end of the pitch. After the tournament, the stands will be removed and the grounds will be used as the home base for FC Ural.

Cosmos Arena in Samara

The Cosmos Arena is one of the most ascetically pleasing venues on the list. Designed to look like an asteroid crater, the iconic building takes its name from the city, which is said to be the centre of the Space industry in Russia. Costing a total of $37 million, the Cosmos has plenty of style and the capacity to seat around 45,000 people. The most striking feature of this building is the 65m high dome roof that gives it its crater-like look. The Cosmos will host 6 2018 World Cup games, including one with the home team.

Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi

Fisht was originally built to host the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Olympics. As such, it will become only the second venue to host both the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. Named after the nearby Fisht Mountain, the building has a distinctive egg-like appearance and is one of the main attractions. Originally built as a 40,000-seater closed arena, it has since been renovated and converted to an open-air venue. Fisht will host 5 games and a quarterfinal.

Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg

Coming in at a whopping $1.7 Billion, the Krestovsky stadium has the honour of being the most expensive venue ever built for this international football tournament. This was mainly due to budgeting errors and work delays. In terms of style, it is a slightly enlarged version of the iconic Toyota stadium in Japan, which is designed to look like a spaceship. Seating around 68,000 people, the Krestovsky will host a number of 2018 World Cup games, including a semi-final and a third-place playoff.