The second of 12 stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ was inaugurated on Friday in Moscow. One of Russia's most popular football clubs, Spartak Moscow, at last has a home of its own. The Red-Whites marked the historic event with a grand concert and friendly against Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.
The brand new home for Spartak opened to fans on 5 September and the arena seats 45,000 supporters while complying with all FIFA requirements. The stadium has a bright, unique appearance; the club's signature red and white colours adorn the arena façade, which is also decorated with 'combat chainmail'.
Each element is made from a diamond shape, exactly replicating the contours of the club's emblem. A gladiator statue – Spartak's club symbol – guards the entrance to the arena. The venue is located on the site of a former aerodrome in one of the capital's picturesque districts on the banks of the Moskva River.
Construction of the stadium has breathed new life into the whole region. A metro station is already up and running adjacent to the arena, and work on a parking area for 7,500 cars is underway. Spartak will move its team headquarters close to the stadium when new training facilities are installed in the area.
Russian Sports Minister and World Cup 2018 Local Organising Committee Chairman Vitaly Mutko also took part in the ceremony, unveiling a plaque showing the status of the 2018 World Cup venue.
“I want to send my congratulations to all the admirers of football with the opening of the magnificent stadium," Mutko said in front of fans and media. "With this landmark event we once again demonstrate that the preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are in full swing.”
Spartak Moscow’s arena becomes the second operational 2018 FIFA World Cup stadium. As well as the Kazan Arena, which was inaugurated earlier this year in August, Moscow Stadium will also host FIFA Confederations Cup matches.