Kaliningrad is the westernmost city to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The city has won this right. First, Kaliningrad has the excellent geographic location — the city can be easily reached from Central and Northern Europe and also from Moscow and St. Petersburg, the largest cities of Russia. Secondly, Kaliningrad is one of the most football cities of the country. In spite of the fact that the city FC Baltika doesn’t play in Russian Primier League for many years, it still collects a big audience at their matches.
Kaliningrad Stadium Seating Chart
However, Baltika Stadium, where the team plays home matches, wasn’t suitable to hold the World Cup matches– the stadium`s age exceeded 100 (!) years. Therefore, the organising committee and the city authorities made the decision to build in Kaliningrad a new modern stadium with characteristics suitable for holding matches of the World Cup.
How to get to the stadium
Kaliningrad Stadium is located in the central part of the city on the Octyabrsky Island. Earlier, the part of the island under the stadium construction was uninhabited, therefore now there are no roads and public transport stops near the stadium. But specially to the World Cup the organisers are constructing several access roads to the stadium, as well as they will organise bus routes directly to the stadium.
Kaliningrad Stadium on the map:
The stadium is building in the downtown, in 20-minute walking from the Cathedral Church. The stadium is located on the bank of the Pregola, the main river of Kaliningrad.
The well-known Munich Allianz Arena has become a prototype of the Kaliningrad Stadium, however, because the stadium project was changed not once, the final variant looks the German analog little.
The stadium was constructed with serious delays. The matter is that the general contractor, who won the stadium construction tender, went bankrupt next year, therefore the organising committee had to hold the tender repeatedly.
For slippage in terms, the original stadium project was significantly simplified and made cheaper. It is paradoxically, but the project modification had a good effect on the stadium construction. Kaliningrad Stadium has become the first new stadium to come into operation. At the same time, the project cost reduction didn’t affect the stadium appearance — the stadium looks nice, accurate and modern.
The stadium is built in the form of a regular rectangle round-cornered, with two tiers. The stadium is illuminated in pleasant blue tones, showing the city — sea connection. Initially a closing roof was planned over the stadium, but due to cost saving it was decided to build just a canopy over the stands. In our opinion, it is enough — there is temperate sea climate in Kaliningrad, therefore even winter temperature remains above zero.
Around the stadium a huge recreational zone with parks, cafes, bicycle tracks and yacht marinas are going to be developed.
Stadium weak points
One of them is the stadium small capacity. As agreed with FIFA, the stadium capacity was reduced from initially planned 45,000 to 35,000 spectators. Considering, for example, that Kaliningrad will host such a top match as England – Belgium, this number of seats is obvious not enough.
After the World Cup finishes, a part of stands will be dismounted, and the stadium will go to the local FC Baltika.
In general, Kaliningrad Stadium is one of the most nice provincial stadiums under construction to the World Cup. The stadium has excellent location, pleasant appearance and excellent stand view. The only minus is its small capacity.