- The Kaliningrad Stadium is hosting four matches at Russia 2018
- Tournament’s westernmost destination to become FC Baltika’s new home
- Check out the best photos of the Kaliningrad Stadium
As anticipation builds ahead of the arrival of supporters in June to watch the best players on the planet competing for the coveted trophy, FIFA.com continues the series introducing fans to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ stadiums. Today we present the Kaliningrad Stadium, the westernmost destination of the tournament.
The Kaliningrad Stadium is hosting four matches in the group stage of the World Cup this summer, starting with Croatia v Nigeria on 16 June. A match that promises to be one of the most exciting of the group stages - the heavyweight clash in Group G between England and Belgium - is also taking place at the venue on 28 June.
During the tournament, the Kaliningrad Stadium will be able to hold up to 35,000 supporters.
The new stadium was built on October Island, right in the heart of Kaliningrad. Having World Cup games in the city was the perfect excuse for local authorities to renovate the island, which had lain empty for many years and was not used for construction. After the tournament, an entire micro-district will be constructed around the stadium, including parks, a quay side and an embankment along the Pregolya River.
Did you know?
More than 12,000 piles were driven into the foundations of what became the Kaliningrad Stadium. Initially the plan was to build a 45,000-seater facility, but then the decision was made to reduce capacity to 35,000. Out of the other 11 Russia 2018 venues, only the Ekaterinburg Arena has the same capacity.
Like a few other World Cup arenas, the Kaliningrad Stadium is finishing off its final preparations before the tournament. Local football club FC Baltika are expected to play a few home games of their current National Football League season at the new venue.
After Russia 2018, the stadium will become the new home ground for FC Baltika. Both the outside of the facility and the seats were designed in the blue-and-white club colours of the Kaliningrad club.