The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is fast approaching and construction continues apace at the stadiums set to host the tournament's matches. Every month, FIFA.com will provide an update for fans on the progress. In March, at the Samara Arena, the dome of the stadium began to be pieced together, while the stands have been rebuilt at the Luzhniki Stadium – the country's largest venue where the Opening Match and Final of Russia 2018 will take place. 

Standout construction of the month
The Samara Arena's dome really makes the venue stand out among stadiums in Russia. Set to become Krylia Sovetov's home ground after the World Cup, at 65.5 metres high (including the dome), the venue will structurally be one of the largest in the country. 

The assembly of this dome is one of the most challenging operations in the stadium's construction. Each part weighs 134 tonnes and needs to be lifted from where it was built and placed on supports with accuracy down to the nearest centimetre. This has to be carried out regardless of weather conditions. When such a hefty item is out in the open air even the slightest bit of rain weighs it down and complicates an already tricky task, while wind doesn't always allow you to fully control the process. Furthermore, each part comprises merely a quarter of a panel and the dome is made up of 32 panels. The steel structure for each panel weighs 500 tonnes.

The preparations needed to lift just one part took nearly a week. However, despite the difficulty of the process, a successful start has been made to the dome's construction in Samara.

“The process went ahead smoothly without any hitches,” explained Nurmuhamed Khakimov, who has 25 years of experience in hoisting and moving supports. “The lifting itself took around an hour and a half. The difficult part was that since the construction is very large, we were forced to use two cranes to carry out the lift. Thankfully the weather was on our side, at some points the sun even came out to shine.” 

The metal structure will continue to be assembled throughout 2016, alongside other construction work. 

Other progress around Russia
In Saransk, the lifting of the roof on the Mordovia Arena is expected to start between May and June, with temporary structures currently being assembled ahead of its placement. According to the stadium's design, a two-tier structure will support the roof over a bowl-shaped stadium in the shape of the sun. The venue will be coloured with national Mordovian designs.

Plans are in place to erect the roof over the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in December 2016, while construction is currently being completed on the second tier. Work has begun in Kaliningrad piecing together the stadium's frame structure, which weighs 422.8 tonnes.

At the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow – the main venue of the 2018 World Cup – the reassembly of the stands has finished. In total, workers put 12,000 pieces of roofing into place. The stands at the renovated stadium will be split into two tiers set at an angle.

The Spartak Stadium is Moscow's other venue which will also host matches at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017. Opened in September 2014, it is already in working order, regularly hosting Russian football league matches. Last week a friendly between Russian and Lithuania was held at the Spartak Stadium.

Did you know?
Seats will be installed in the Luzhniki Stadium in autumn 2016 and their colours were chosen by Moscow locals themselves. A vote held on a municipal web portal decided the seats will be coloured dark-red and gold. The head of the Moscow urban construction department revealed that more than 137,000 city residents took part in the vote. 

Figure of the Month
More than 1100 workers and 74 pieces of machinery are currently being used on the construction site for the Volgograd Arena.