The 2018 World Cup is officially underway as Russia handled Saudi Arabia 5 to 0 in the first match of the tournament. Russia is this year’s host and there are currently 12 stadiums across the country that will be holding matches throughout the Cup.
According to Dezeen, from June 14 until July 15, 32 national teams will compete throughout Russia for the coveted World Cup trophy. The 12 Russian stadiums are located in 11 different cities and feature some historic venues as well as innovative new ones.
Some of the stadiums underwent major changes like air conditioning equipment replacement, which can result in significant energy savings if the units are more than 15 years old. Here is an in-depth look at some of the Russian stadiums that are hosting the matches:
- Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow — Home to the Russian national team, built in 1956.
- Fisht Stadium, Sochi — This stadium was designed by Populous as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
- Spartak Stadium, Moscow — Built in 2014, the stadium is home to another successful Russian club, Spartak Moscow.
- Mordovia Arena, Saransk — This venue was constructed specifically for this year’s World Cup and was designed by Russian company SaranskGrazhdanProekt.
- Samara Arena, Samara — Opened in 2018, the stadium as a 65.5-metre-high domed roof and comfortably seats 45,000.
- Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad — Another new stadium just for the World Cup, this venue will host four World Cup matches.
- Volgograd Arena, Volgograd — This stadium replaced the historic Central Stadium and will hold 45,000.
- Kazan Arena, Kazan — Constructed in order to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer World University Games back in 2013, this stadium will host six matches during the World Cup.
- Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod — This stadium was specifically built for the World Cup and seats 45,000.
- Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg — Constructed in 1954, the Central Stadium is home to one of Russia’s oldest clubs, FC Ural.
- St Petersburg Stadium, St Petersburg — Also known as Krestovsky Stadium, this magnificent venue opened in 2017 and is the home of Russian football club FC Zenit St Petersburg.
- Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don — After the World Cup, this venue will be the permanent home to FC Rostov.
Additionally, FIFA Congress just announced that North America will host the 2026 World Cup. Currently 17 U.S. cities are listed that will eventually be cut down to 10 by the time the 2026 Cup starts. The other big news for 2026 is that FIFA is bumping the number of teams that can participate in the Cup from 32 to 48, allowing all three countries in North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) to host plenty of games.