First large events already held, more to come. But the new stadium for Rubin Kazan already ironically isn’t ready to host games of Rubin Kazan. Even if temporarily without large events, it’s still a city within the city!
The old Central Stadium is really central – it lies directly in the heart of this uniquely located Russian city. Wouldn’t it be perfect to build the new arena here? It would have been, but there wasn’t enough room neither for the needs of 2013 Universiade, nor for the 2018 World Cup, both of which were planned at the venue.
This is why what seems to be the second best location was selected. In the north-eastern district of Savinovo, right along Kazan’s bypass and not far from the centre. And, also importantly, along the picturesque banks of Kazanka River, in a great leisure hub, beside the local dolphinarium.
Riverside is attractive, but it also forced contractors to install thousands of piles before beginning to lay foundations. Reinforcing the ground took over one year, leaving only two and a half for remaining works. A very tight frame when we consider alterations done to the design, especially those that adjusted the new stadium to opening and closing ceremonies of the Universiade.
As a result even days before the 2013 event preparations were still in full swing. Not only that, the cost of Kazan Arena increased very severely since the stadium’s early estimates, topping at $450 million, almost three times the initial price.
However, in exchange Kazan received Russia’s most modern stadium, which uses the slogan “City in the city”. And indeed, the variety of uses, some already implemented while others planned, is stunning. Museums of Rubin and vintage cars, fitness and leisure centres, exhibition hall, conference centre, large club and sports bar – those are just the biggest, not mentioning 72 skybxoes and a restaurant overlooking the pitch.
To draw people to the arena, managing company uses various techniques. This winter the largest skating rink in the region was opened next to the stadium, with no admission fees. During the Winter Olympics sports events are being broadcast on the stadium’s western façade, which has Europe’s largest HD screen, spanning over 4,200 sqm.
Of course all this generates large costs. The sole surface of all facilities requiring heating is 67,000 sqm! Future income is to be generated by both hosting large scale non-sporting events and regular games of largest local club, Rubin Kazan. Unfortunately, so far the club hasn’t been able to play even one game, because the pitch requires rest to grow properly after it’s been installed in Autumn.
With immense costs this issue raised a wave of criticism, but the true value of the stadium won’t be known until we see regular fixtures and their turnouts.
Until then, you may share your views about the stadium by voting and including it (or not!) in your Stadium of the Year selection!