The first match at the St. Petersburg stadium for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia that is currently under construction will be held in September 2016, the city administration told welcome2018.com.
“At the meeting on preparation for the World Cup it was decided that the first match at the new stadium will be held in September 2016,” the city administration press service said.
Chairman of the Construction Committee Mikhail Demidenko said that the stadium on Krestovsky Island is currently 79% ready.
The stadium construction in the western part of Krestovsky Island started in 2006 and was funded by the St. Petersburg budget. The total cost of the project will amount to 34.9 billion rubles. Main construction and installation works at the site are scheduled for completion in May 2016. The capacity of the stadium will total 69,000 spectators. During the World Cup the arena will be named "St. Petersburg Stadium."
It is expected that the stadium will be one of the most technologically advanced and sophisticated sports facilities in Europe. The arena will be equipped with retractable roof that the cold season will allow hosting matches at the stadium in about +15 degrees. The stadium will be used not only for football matches, but also for various other cultural and sporting events. In order to do this, the field itself will roll out: soccer field with rollers and rails can be moved with electric drive in 2 hours. This will facilitate handling the field and avoiding frequent costly lawn replacements.
In 2017 the stadium will host matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup. In 2018 St. Petersburg will host seven 2018 World Cup matches: four of the group stage, one 1/8 finals game, semi-final and the match for the third place.