Luzhniki Stadium – location of the first and final games of this year’s World Cup
The World Cup is the globe’s biggest sporting event, with 3.4 billion people expected to watch the month-long, quadrennial tournament. Russia is hosting the event and has spent an estimated 10 billion dollars in both building new arenas, and refurbishing their existing facilities. The 2018 tournament will host 65 matches across 11 cities in 12 of the most modern stadiums in the world. The tournament kicks off today with the first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia being played in Russia’s largest stadium, the Luzhniki Stadium, located in Moscow, with a capacity of 80,000 spectators. Historically speaking, the stadiums used for the World Cup have helped influence the design of sport venues around the world. The first stadium to be specifically built for a World Cup, the Estadio Centenario, used in 1930 in Uruguay, captured many of the important moments of the World Cup in its infancy, hosting over 50% of the first tournament’s 18 games. The stadium, which was designed by architect Juan Antonio Scasso, was typical of the era and has helped set a precedent for future venues. Hundreds of circular steps were cast into a natural depression that surrounded the pitch, with slivers cut into the ground at its four corners to provide access. Its amphitheater-like, honest form did not get in the way of the game, marking a starting point of modern stadia’s progression. Other influential stadiums in World Cup history include the “iconic” Wembley Stadium in England, built in 1923, the “mixed-use,” Rose Bowl Stadium used in 1994 in the United States and the “modern,” Oita Bank Dome in Japan used in 2002.
Click HERE to view all 12 stadiums being used in Russia during the World Cup.