The Krestovsky Stadium is one of the most beautiful and capacious stadiums built for the World Cup.
This arena in Saint Petersburg will host the Confederations Cup matches in 2017 including one of the semi-final matches, and also the tournament final.
Within the 2018 FIFA World Cup Saint Petersburg will host matches of groups A, B, D and E (Russia — Egypt, Morocco — Iran, Nigeria — Argentina, Brazil — Costa Rica), as well as one match of the round of last 16, the semi-final match and the third place match.
Krestovsky Stadium Seating Chart
How to get to the stadium
One can easily get to the Krestovsky Stadium by metro: by the World Cup near stadium there is going to open the new station “Novokrestovskaya”. Also, within the stadium walking distance there is another metro station “Krestovsky Ostrov”.
Krestovsky Stadium on the Saint Petersburg map:
The Krestovsky Stadium is built on the site of the other large stadium of Saint Petersburg, Kirov Stadium on Krestovsky Island. Kirov Stadium in the Soviet period was the main arena of Zenit, the Saint Petersburg main team; at different times the stadium capacity made up 70 to 110 thousand spectators. Zenit played many home matches on the Mironych stadium, as it was called by Saint Petersburg fans, since 1950 to the early 1990s.
After the USSR collapse it was hard time for Zenit, financial difficulties began, the team left the elite division of the Russian football. Attendance of the team fell down to a few thousand spectators at an ordinary match, therefore there was no sense to receive the opponents on a huge stadium. Zenit moved to the Petrovsky Stadium which became the home arena for the team for almost two decades.
Considering the fact that in Saint Petersburg there was only one football team, the Kirov Stadium remained non-demanded, and, actually, for fifteen years it didn't host serious matches. In 2005 the Saint Petersburg Leadership made the decision to demolish the Kirov Stadium and to erect on its site a new super arena for the main city team. In June, 2006 Zenit played its farewell match on the old stadium ending the game with the Moscow Dynamo in a draw. In a month builders started demolition of the old arena.
Initially it was supposed that the stadium will be built and put in operation in 2008-2009, and the arena capacity will accommodate about 55 thousand spectators.
But Saint Petersburg failed to get the stadium by the planned date. The stadium construction was accompanied by scandals, the budget of construction increased by many times, and the date of the arena commission was repeatedly postponed. In 2010 when it became known that Russia acquired the right to holdthe World Cup, it was decided to use Krestovsky Stadium for the tournament matches. To admit the stadium to hold matches of the World Cup it was necessary to increase its capacity up to 68 thousand spectators, and also to make next changes in the construction documentation.
In the early 2016, the stadium wasn't completed, and even the threat appeared that the arena could not be commissioned by the Confederations Cup. A big scandal burst: the President of Russia took personal control over the stadium construction. Once again, the general contractor was replaced, and workers started round-the-clock work on the site. As a result, at heavy efforts, Krestovsky Stadium was commissioned in December, 2016.
Krestovsky Stadium has turned out to be a unique, beautiful and ultramodern sports venue. There are no stadiums of such a level, perhaps, in all Eastern Europe. The UEFA Commission certified the stadium in Saint Petersburg as of the highest category which will allow to host any matches (including the finals of Euro Cups) under the auspices of the UEFA.
What are the features of the arena on Krestovsky? First of all, this is a unique draw out-type field. During the matches the field will be in the middle of the stadium, and after the game it will leave the stadium covered bowl. It will allow to hold, first, unsporting events (concerts, exhibitions, conferences) in the arena bowl without damage to the lawn, and, secondly, will keep durability and quality of the grass cover. It is no secret that the climate in Saint Petersburg differs with its dampness, and the lack of sunlight inside the arena (because of the stadium roof and high tiers) can lead to destroying like it happened on the Moscow Luzhniki Arena.
Another feature of the stadium is its sliding roof. It will allow to open the arena in clear weather for sunlight during matches. Similarly, under adverse meteorological conditions, the stadium roof will move back. It will allow to hold events at the stadium all seasons.
At the stadium a lot of attention is paid to safety and convenience of spectators. Tiers are located under such an angle to let the spectators on the top tiers of the stadium had a good view, and also to feel near the pitch. On Krestovsky Stadium there is an air conditioning system built which allow spectators to feel comfortable both during July heat and in cold winter.
On the arena there are over 600 video cameras installed, as well as special software allowing to identify and trace any fan who is within the stadium.
Also handicapped citizens are not ignored: there are special places at the stadium, as well as public catering and specially equipped bathrooms.
16 outlets of public catering totally capable to house over 8 thousand visitors at the same time will work at the stadium.
Stadium weak points
Unfortunately, there is “a fly in the ointment” — weak points about which we are writing below.
First of all, a weak point of Krestovsky Stadium is transport accessibility. The “Novokrestovskaya” metro station which was planned to be built by the start of the Confederations Cup won't be commissioned in time. Also, there is no exit from the Western High-Speed Diameter to the stadium. Today, the city authorities strenuously think how to solve a problem with delivery of fans to the stadium. Most likely, during the matches of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup transportation of spectators by free buses from the next metro stations will be organized. Another alternative is walk on foot through the picturesque park to “Krestovsky Ostrov” metro station — in June and July in Saint Petersburg there come wonderful sunny warm days and “white nights” which is especially pleasant in the elite district of the city.
Another problem of the stadium on Krestovsky Island is its “dampness”. The stadium was completed in emergency mode, therefore it was impossible to test its work in hard conditions. It is quite possible that during the Confederations Cup we will see a number of insignificant defects and weaknesses in operation of Krestovsky Stadium but which will hardly seriously influence the matches holding.
Despite a number of problems and scandals during the stadium construction, Saint Petersburg received one of the best, modern, innovative, beautiful and convenient arenas in Europe. Guests of the World Cup will undoubtedly take great pleasure both from visit of the stadium and visit of Saint Petersburg in general.