- The Ekaterinburg Arena will host four group-stage matches at Russia 2018
- The stadium has undergone massive reconstruction
- Check out the best photos of the Ekaterinburg Arena
FIFA.com continues its series introducing fans to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ stadiums, as the excitement continues to build before the arrival of supporters in June and July, along with the best players on the planet who will be competing for the coveted trophy. Today we present the Ekaterinburg Arena, the easternmost destination at Russia 2018.
The Ekaterinburg Arena will host four matches in the group stage of Russia 2018, featuring countries from five different confederations: UEFA, CAF, CONMEBOL, AFC and CONCACAF.
During the tournament, the Ekaterinburg Arena will be able to hold up to 35,000 spectators. After the World Cup, the plan is to reduce the capacity by removing the temporary stands.
The largest sporting facility in the Urals is located in the centre of Ekaterinburg, the capital of the region. The main entrance to the stadium can be found on Ulitsa Repin, one of the main thoroughfares in the city. The reconstruction and renovation project of the stadium ensured a multi-functional sports complex was added to the redevelopment of the city centre in Ekaterinburg that has been ongoing for decades.
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Apart from the Luzhniki Stadium, the Ekaterinburg Arena is the only other venue at the World Cup that was not built from scratch, but rather reconstructed from an existing stadium. The old Central Stadium had stood on the same site since 1956 and even before that there was a velodrome there. The arena is a monument to Stalinist architecture and during the reconstruction the facades of the old western and eastern stands were preserved. The bas-reliefs, ornamental flowerpots, candelabra and sculptures of footballers from the 1950s were also restored. At the same time, the Ekaterinburg Arena's past now blends in with its future, as a modern and technologically advanced stadium roof, measuring 45.5 metres from the ground, has been installed above the stands.
Like a few other Russia 2018 venues, the finishing touches are being applied to the Ekaterinburg Arena ahead of the tournament in the summer. Local football club FK Ural are expected to play some of their final home matches of the current Russian Premier League season at the stadium.
The Ekaterinburg Arena will become FK Ural's permanent home after the World Cup. The 87-year-old club has established itself in Russia's top flight and last season reached the Russian Cup Final. The seats at the stadium have been designed in FK Ural's trademark orange colour.