With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ drawing ever nearer, construction on all of the tournament's stadiums is going full steam ahead. Every month FIFA.com will provide an update for fans on how the progress is coming along. For April, the focus is on the Kaliningrad Stadium, which has made excellent progress so far this year.
Progress of the month
The dreams of FC Baltika Kaliningrad players and fans will soon be realised, with the club securing a new ground ahead of Russia 2018. On Thursday, the players had the opportunity to get even closer to their dream with the team being given a tour of the stadium, currently under construction, which will host four group-stage matches at the 2018 showpiece. By the time the tournament comes around, the squad hope to have improved their results on the pitch, with the team currently playing in Russia’s second tier, the National Football League
“I was genuinely impressed with construction progress at our new stadium," said Valery Sarmont, the club’s 24-year-old defender. "We can’t wait to host opposing teams here. I am confident we will see growing attendances, and the more fans come to watch, the harder we will fight and the better we will play! In any case, we want to move into the new stadium having already secured a place in the Premier League."
Construction at the Kaliningrad Stadium began later than at other Russia 2018 arenas but within five short months, impressive progress has been made. The ground has already taken shape, with foundation work completed in April and ongoing installation of metal structures (as of 26 April, the stadium was at 18 per cent readiness). Preparations for roof construction have already begun.
“We have no doubt that the stadium will be completed on time and in line with the most stringent quality requirements,” said Alexander Rolbinov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Kaliningrad Region. “Our confidence is based on the speed and capabilities of the general contractor, which has demonstrated the ability to effectively organise the construction process.”
What is more, the stadium is significant not only for FC Baltika but for the region as a whole. “We will do everything we can to make sure the stadium hosts as many cultural and sporting events as possible,” continued Rolbinov. “We are also working hard on preparing the area around the stadium. Plans include construction of walking, recreation and sporting facilities. Thanks to the World Cup, Kaliningrad will have a new modern district which we aim to make a popular destination for residents and visitors alike.”
Elsewhere around Russia
Players from the local club also visited the stadium construction site in Saransk. “You can already see what the stadium will be like in 2018. Thanks to the World Cup, our club will have an excellent pitch that will be the envy of our opponents,” said Pavel Ignatovich, Mordovia’s striker, after a 30-minute tour of the ground. In-situ concrete works at the stadium are ongoing, with readiness at 70 per cent, alongside the erection of internal walls.
Meanwhile, roof installation has commenced at the Ekaterinburg Stadium. The first 35-tonne beam was installed above the North Stand at a height of 36 metres above ground. In Nizhny Novgorod, builders have begun erecting third-tier columns, which will support the stadium roof, in three of the four sections. The final, fifth, stadium tier is being built at the Volgograd Stadium.
General construction work is close to completion in Saint Petersburg, with removal of the last heavy-duty crane, which finished its work in the arena dome, currently in progress. Construction efforts will now turn to the stadium’s internal areas. Fire-safety system installation is in progress at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, which will host the Opening Match of Russia 2018, as well as the Final.
Did you know?
The Kazan Arena, which will host the final of the Russia Cup on 2 May, has the largest media facade in Europe. The giant Full HD screen has an area of 3,700 square metres.
Figure of the month
The total weight of the metal components in the Ekaterinburg Stadium roof will be 7,500 tonnes. This is 200 tonnes more than the total weight of the metal in the Eiffel Tower.