Erection of the stands in Kaliningrad is progressing very well, according to official data. Preparations to mount the roof are now beginning.
It’s the last stadium to go under construction, it’s also the most compromised one in design terms. The old, extremely ambitious vision was scrapped in favour of a 35,000-capacity, massively simplified concept.
Still able to meet international standards, the new stadium is growing very fast thanks to these cost-cutting measures. Contrary to most common techniques in Central and Eastern Europe, the 35,000-seater in Kaliningrad is being built with steel frame instead of concrete, which allows very fast installation.
How fast? Take this example. Last Friday the governor of Kaliningrad confirmed the seating frame is 84% ready. It’s not even been a week since this declaration and now the level is 90%, according to Sport Engineering, the company managing the project.
One of the new grandstands is already covered with reinforced concrete steps of the future seating bowl. The yellow supports you can see below are now being mounted to allow roof installation. They will only be removed once the roof can support its own weight.
Currently some 850 people and 53 pieces of machinery are employed on the site of the 2018 World Cup venue. Officially all work is along schedule and will be complete in time, though reports of strike by some 45 people due to unpaid salary (similar number abandoning the site altogether) have surfaced recently.