Centralny Stadium (Yekaterinburg Arena) in Yekaterinburg is the oldest and the easternmost one to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The tournament group stage will be held on the main stadium of Yekaterinburg. For the convenience of the city guests for the World Cup period, Centralny Stadium will be renamed Ekaterinburg Arena.
Yekaterinburg Arena Seating Chart
How to get to the stadium
The stadium is located in the triangle between Repin, Tatishchev and Pirogov Streets. Unfortunately, there is no metro station near the stadium. One can reach the stadium by ground public transport:
- Buses 21, 24, 25, 28, 61, 85, 95 - stops Centralny Stadion, Institute Svyazi.
- Trolleybuses 3, 7, 17 - stops Centralny Stadion, Institute Svyazi.
Ekaterinburg Arena on the Yekaterinburg map:
The stadium history dates back to the early 20th century. In 1900, on the site of the future stadium Centralny a velodrome was opened to hold bicycle races. In 1910, the stadium started hosting the first football competitions – the championship of Yekaterinburg and the Urals tournaments.
In 1925 the velodrome closed, and on its site a small stadium for 5,000 seats (named Lenin Stadium) was built. It existed a little over 30 years. In the early 1950s, the stadium got small for the semi-million Sverdlovsk (the name of Yekaterinburg in the Soviet time) to hold matches of the local football teams within the USSR championships, therefore the city government made the decision to build a new more capacious sports arena on the site of Lenin Stadium. The construction began in 1953 and came to the end four years later.
The new football stadium consisted of two big stands hosting up to 27 thousand spectators. Besides the football pitch, the new stadium contained tennis courts, a hockey box, basketball and volleyball courts. The new stadium was decided to be renamed Centralny Stadium.
Centralny Stadium has held the high-class competitions more than once. For example, in Soviet period skating competitions were repeatedly held on the arena. In the late 1960s, the main football team of Sverdlovsk Uralmash broke through into the Primier League of the USSR Championship. Since then the best teams of the Soviet Union had performed on the arena time and again.
In 1996, Centralny Stadium hosted matches of the football Euro Cups for the only time. In 2003, the stadium was closed for reconstruction which lasted for long eight years. During modernization the stadium field and the draining system were completely replaced, new lighting masts appeared. After the reconstruction a canopy was made over most stands to protect spectators from severe Urals weather. The stadium was opened after reconstruction only in 2011, having become the most capacious and modern in an Asian part of Russia.
But, basically, such a large-scale, expensive and scandalous reconstruction did not get useful to the stadium. In the late 2010, it became known that Russia acquired the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Yekaterinburg was included into the preliminary list of the tournament host cities. In September, 2012, the final list of host cities including the capital of the Urals was announced. It became clear that Centralny Stadium needed another reconstruction for compliance with the FIFA requirements.
Prior to the following modernization, Centralny Stadium managed to host s few significant matches – three matches of the youth national team and the final of the 2011 Russian Cup. In 2015, Centralny Stadium was again closed for reconstruction.
The project of new reconstruction aroused a lot of criticism. Many questions appeared to huge expenditures for the stadium previous reconstruction. There were proposals to construct from scratch a new stadium for the World Cup, and to leave Centralny Stadium to hold the Ural team home games.
Nevertheless, as a result it was decided to carry out new reconstruction of Centralny Stadium. During modernization they managed to save the stadium historical facades and other architecture elements recognized as historical heritage.
The stadium capacity has increased up to 35,000 seats by the World Cup. After the tournament has finished, a part of stands will be dismounted. The stadium capacity after the World Cup will be for 23 thousand spectators.
Stadium weak points
The new stadium architects have made a quite controversial decision on the stands to be dismounted later, which are behind the teams` nets. These stands look so as if they are outside the stadium. Due to them, the area appearance is not really presentable. Besides, these stands have no weather protective canopy.
However, the tournament organisers assure that the stands functionality didn’t suffer and watching football matches on the removable stand will be comfortable. It is necessary to hope that severe Ural weather will have mercy on spectators and won’t spoil watching matches of the World Cup.
The stadium in Yekaterinburg came in small, but rather cozy and compact. The main highlight of Ekaterinburg Arena is a successful combination of the old historical facades and the modern materials used for construction of the new stadium.