The iconic Konstantinovsky Palace in St. Petersburg will provide the perfect setting for the first official event of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™: the Preliminary Draw on 25 July 2015.

The Preliminary Draw illustrates perfectly the FIFA World Cup’s unique power to bring the world together. Delegates from the participating member associations from all six confederations, almost 800 media representatives, and an audience of some 2,000 people, including leading figures from the world of politics, sport and show business, are expected to attend a show that will attract millions of viewers from across the globe.

“We are very happy that FIFA supported the idea of hosting the 2015 FIFA Preliminary Draw in Konstantinovsky Palace”, said Vitaly Mutko, chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. “The National Palace is a magnificent architectural complex of the XVIIIth century, and it symbolises the rich cultural traditions of our country. It will be a great introduction to Russia for national associations, guests, commercial affiliates and TV viewers all over the world.”

The draw determines which teams will face each other in each qualifying zone for one of the 31 available slots. The FIFA World Cup is set to be staged across 11 Russian Host Cities and 12 stadia in June and July 2018.

Over its three hundred year history the Konstantinovsky palace hosted some of the most prominent events in Russia. The palace is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, surrounded by parks and water.