The organising committee for the next tournament is constructing a number of new arenas as football’s biggest competition returns to Europe.

Russia‘s footballing infrastructure has undergone a massive transformation ahead of the 2018 World Cup, with the country now littered with modern stadiums built or refurbished for the upcoming tournament.

There are so many new builds, in fact, that the home grounds of some of Russia’s biggest clubs, such as CSKA Moscow’s VEB Arena (opened in 2016) and Dynamo Moscow’s VTB Arena (opened this year), have not been included in the bid.

Instead, 12 stadiums have been selected centred around Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which has been revamped for the final.

Every venue will host four group games as a minimum, with the allocation of knockout matches included in our comprehensive guide below.

  • LUZNHIKI STADIUM

City: Moscow
Capacity: 81,000
Status: Complete

The biggest of Russia’s stadiums for the World Cup – and the venue for the final – will sound familiar to Manchester United and Chelsea fans; it hosted the Champions League final those two clubs contested in 2008.

The inside of the Luzhniki has been demolished and rebuilt since 2013 but the roof, which was only added in 1996, and the iconic outer facade have been kept and incorporated into the new structure.

Its capacity has been increased slightly to 81,000 and the athletics track has been removed, which should help to improve the atmosphere.

Knockout games: Round of 16, semi-final, final

  • SPARTAK STADIUM

City: Moscow
Capacity: 45,360
Status: Complete

Usually known as the Otkritie Arena, this is, as its World Cup name suggests, the home of Spartak Moscow and was opened in 2014. Because it was already completed, it was one of the four venues used for the Confederations Cup in 2017.

Despite being the most successful team in the history of Russian football, Spartak had never had their own stadium until this venue was built, instead playing at various different grounds in Moscow. It seems to have helped, as – having won nine of 10 between 1992 and 2001 – they claimed their first league title in over 15 years in 2016-17.

One unique feature of the venue is the lifesize statues of the Starostin brothers, who founded the club, located behind one of the goals.

Knockout games: Round of 16

  • KAZAN ARENA

City: Kazan
Capacity: 45,379
Status: Complete

Rubin Kazan moved out of their old, multipurpose Central Stadium to the new Kazan Arena in 2013. It is notable for having the largest outside screen in Europe, running across one stand’s entire outer wall.

As another venue completed well before the finals, it was also selected for use at the Confederations Cup.

Knockout games: Round of 16, quarter-final

  • SAMARA ARENA

City: Samara
Capacity: 44,918
Status: Under construction (new)

Samara Arena – which will be known as Cosmos Arena outside of the World Cup – is scheduled to be completed in 2018 and will become the new home of Kylia Sovetov, who currently play at the Metallurg Stadion.

Built as a space-age glass dome, the stadium will pay homage to Samara’s role in the Soviet Union’s space-exploration program and the continued prominence of aerospace business and research in the city.

Knockout games: Round of 16, quarter final

  • MORDOVIA ARENA

City: Saransk
Capacity: 45,015
Status: Under construction (new)

Mordovia is a republic of over 800,000 people located about 500 kilometres south-east of Moscow, but is part of the Russian Federation. This new stadium will be home to FC Mordovia Saransk, a club formed by the merger of two local teams in 2005.

Though the capacity of the stadium will top 45,000 for the World Cup, it will be reduced to 28,000 after the tournament to be more in line with the needs of its permanent tenants – though it will still be of significant size for them as a third-division club.

Knockout games: None

  • ROSTOV ARENA

City: Rostov
Capacity: 45,000
Status: Under construction (new)

The Rostov Arena will be part of a major new development in the city on the banks of the Don River, and will become the home of FC Rostov as well as a World Cup venue. The image above shows it nearing completion of September 2017, with seats to be added.

Located 1,000 kilometres south of Moscow, Rostov have never won a league title but came agonisingly close against the odds in 2015-16, finishing two points behind CSKA Moscow.

Knockout games: Round of 16

  • FISHT STADIUM

City: Sochi
Capacity: 47,659
Status: Complete

The Fisht Olympic Stadium is one of Russia’s most interesting projects for the World Cup – it was originally built for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2014 but was an enclosed, indoor arena.

To make use of it for another couple of tournaments (it was a venue for the Confederations Cup), it has been converted into an open-air football stadium that meets FIFA’s regulations. The ground is owned by the government of Russia and is not home to a club team.

Knockout games: Round of 16, quarter-final

  • YEKATERINBURG ARENA

City: Yekaterinburg
Capacity: 35,000
Status: Under construction (upgrade)

This is undoubtedly the weirdest stadium the Russians have built for the World Cup.

Known as Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg, it is a previously multipurpose venue that had only recently been remodelled but needed another complete overhaul for the World Cup and, afterwards, for use by FC Ural Yekaterinburg. It will hold 35,000 fans during the tournament before being reduced to a 25,000 capacity.

It has drawn attention ahead of the tournament for the fact that the top of the stand behind one of the goals (to the left of the image above) appears to rise so high as to be in a position directly behind the roof (which is absolutely massive, by the way).

Knockout games: None

  • VOLGOGRAD ARENA

City: Volgograd
Capacity: 45,568
Status: Under construction (new)

This is one of the new builds designed specifically for the World Cup and will also become the home stadium of FC Rotor Volgograd. It will be built on the site of Rotor’s old Central Stadium, which was demolished in 2014.

Surprisingly, despite being brand new, relatively large and boasting an eyecatching open-lattice design, the venue will not host any knockout matches. That may be something to do with the city’s location nearly 1,000 kilometres south of Moscow.

Knockout games: None

  • NIZHNY NOVGOROD ARENA

City: Nizhny Novgorod
Capacity: 44,899
Status: Under construction (new)

Another riverside stadium, the Nizhny Novgorod Arena will be located at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers. It is next to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and across the water from the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, creating an impressive backdrop.

After the tournmanent, FC Olimpiyets Nizhny Novgorod will move into the stadium. They were promoted to the Russian second tier in 2016-17 and have become the city’s top club following the dissolution of FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod.

Knockout games: Round of 16, quarter-final

  • KALININGRAD STADIUM

City: Kaliningrad
Capacity: 35,212
Status: Under construction (new)

Kaliningrad is unique among the 2018 host cities in that it is not actually a part of mainland Russia but is in an exclave between Poland and Lithuania, lying only slightly further east than Stockholm and Warsaw.

It will hold over 35,000 fans for the World Cup before having its capacity reduced to 25,000 to become the new home of FC Baltika Kaliningrad, who play in the second tier, as the Arena Baltika.

Knockout games: None

  • SAINT PETERSBURG STADIUM

City: Saint Petersburg
Capacity: 68,134
Status: Complete

If you thought Russia’s stadium construction seemed to be going much more smoothly than Brazil’s for 2014 you must not have heard of Zenit’s new Krestovsky Stadium, which will be known as the Saint Petersburg Stadium for FIFA tournaments.

As you can see, it looks stunning – and so it should, because it is nine years late and massively overbudget. Zenit finally moved into the ground in April after countless setbacks and it hosted the Confederations Cup final.

Knockout games: Round of 16, semi-final, third-place play-off

Do you know the stadium where the Final would be played?A�Well all thanks to Latest World Sports Blog, We have brought to you, Where and What stadium the Russia 2018 Final Will Be Played, read and Enjoy do not forget to follow us on all our social platforms for faster updates.

Fidelis Ozuawala

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