Russian Prime Minister surveys 2018 preparations
© RIA NOVOSTI

Russia’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, was in St Petersburg on 1 September 2012 to visit Krestovsky Island, where work is under way on the construction of a new stadium for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. 

The Prime Minister learned more about how the construction work is progressing, and about plans to build 15 stadiums in the 13 candidate cities bidding to host matches during the tournament: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Ekaterinburg. 

Russia’s sports minister and the chairman of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC), Vitaly Mutko, briefed Dmitry Medvedev on the ongoing preparations for FIFA’s showpiece event. Also at the meeting were the CEO of the Russia 2018 LOC, Alexey Sorokin, representatives of the St Petersburg city authorities and executives from Zenit St Petersburg, the football club that will be calling the new stadium home. 

The stadium in St Petersburg will hold more than 69,000 spectators, and is aiming to host a FIFA World Cup semi-final. The arena will be fitted out with a retractable roof and a sliding pitch, which will make it one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. 

Including the arena on Krestovsky Island in St Petersburg, five venues are currently under construction: the stadiums in Kazan and Sochi, which will be ready to stage major international competitions within the next two years, Spartak Moscow’s stadium and the arena in Saransk. A further eight stadiums are currently being designed, while two existing venues – Moscow’s Luzhniki and the Tsentralny Stadium in Ekaterinburg - will be rebuilt in advance of the tournament. 

The final list of host cities for Russia 2018 will be announced in late September.