|FK Zenit Sankt-Pieterburg
|22/04/2017 (Zenit - Ural Yekaterinburg, 2-0)
|12/2006 - 31/03/2017
|RUB 42.8 billion
|Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates
|Inzhtransstroi / Metrostroi
|Futbolnaya, 197110 Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Gazprom Arena – stadium description
Though a new stadium, it had a long history well before opening. In 2004 Saint Petersburg took the decision to rebuild the old Kirov Stadium on Krestovskiy Ostrov. International design competition saw renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa defeat competitors with an evolution of his Toyota Stadium idea.
That idea included 8 tall spires piercing through the seating bowl and roof. Each of them inclined inwards would then lend support to the entire dome, making it almost hover in the air, at least visually. Along competition rules the stadium had to include retractable roof, field sliding out and respect the landfill slopes with decorative architecture in the east, left after Kirov Stadium.
Kurokawa died early into the stadium’s construction and design was changed immensely compared to the initial idea. Retractable roof system had to be replaced by a different one because Kurokawa planned to use thin membrane which would immediately crack in tough climate of northern Russia. A two-sided solid dome was designed in its place.
Also the hovering upper stands were replaced by heavier, bulkier ones. While visually less attractive, this allowed to create far more floor space for future use. Altogether the stadium offers 286,000 m2 spread across 9 floors!
The key features remained and 8 tall pylons indeed rise high into the city’s skyline. While the tallest point of retractable roof is at 79 meters, the spires reach 110 meters each. They give support to a truly stunning roof of 32,000 tons and 71,000 m2!
The eastern approach to the stadium with colonnades and fountains running along stairs was also retained, as required. And yes, the stadium also has the required sliding field, which can roll out of the stadium for optimum sunlight on a massive 8,400-ton platform, to rest on the riverside of Malaya Neva.
Over time final capacity has been increased from the initial 62,000 to nearly 69,000, in order to gain importance and give the stadium more leverage in competing for major events, primarily the World Cup semifinal (the increase took place after Russia was awarded hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup).
Demolition of the old stadium began in late 2006, while actual construction works followed in 2007 and were expected to end in 2009. With less than 3 years planned, the stadium actually took over 10 years to deliver, exceeding a dozen deadlines and causing actual outrage across Russia. Among the causes were numerous changes to the design, even to the extent that some elements were built, demolished and rebuilt.
Along the ever-extending time frame also the stadium’s budget ballooned. Initially expected to be RUB 6.7 billion it then reached over 7 times that amount with under 43 billion being spent until opening in 2017 and possibly going under 50 billion as the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 end. Adjusting the stadium to UEFA and FIFA needs is expensive, but the extra spending also includes bringing it up to basic domestic standards required by FC Zenit, the anchor tenant for years to come.
Champions League final moved to Paris
It is now certain - the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League final will be played at Stade de France in Paris. UEFA has decided to move the match from St. Petersburg. The venue of the World Cup qualifiers between Poland and Russia will also be changed.
Euro 2020: Why no team can train on the field in Saint Petersburg?
Despite some claiming it was Russia’s decision, that move is on UEFA. Contrary to tradition, no team can get accustomed with the field in Saint Petersburg. And it’s not about the grass’ quality either.
Euro 2020: Bilbao and Dublin out! Changes confirmed
Zbigniew Boniek was the first to release the info: the two most threatened stadiums will not host Euro 2020. Munich remains on the list, while Seville comes in as Spain’s replacement.
Euro 2020: What capacities will stadiums have?
Will Bilbao and Dublin lose their hosting rights? Some media outlets got into speculations about potential replacements but it seems to be far from decided. Here’s what we know about Euro 2020 venues allowing fans inside.
COVID-19 crisis: European football rescheduled
Euro 2020 is no more, get ready for Euro 2021. International games and cup finals also have a new schedule in effort to allow domestic competitions to conclude this summer.
UEFA: Petersburg, Munich and London take UCL finals
Three consecutive hosts for UEFA Champions League finals are revealed. It's the first ever final for Saint Petersburg, second for Munich's Allianz Arena and third for new Wembley. Also, Europa League and Super Cup venues for 2021 are announced.
Saint Petersburg: Hockey to debut at Zenit Arena
After the last game of Zenit this year the field will be replaced by temporary ice rink. Two hit games should bring sell-out crowds of up to 70,000 each, according to organisers.
Russia 2018: Stadiums almost full, but no record
According to official data the World Cup managed to break 3 million spectators, but we argue that attendance data has been inflated. Even by FIFA's count, it was the smallest World Cup since 2002. Why?
Report: Why is Russia's World Cup so expensive? (Part 2)
Stadia of this year's World Cup on average became a couple times more expensive between proposal and delivery of the actual building. But each case is different: some are commendable, some pathological. Yes, Saint Petersburg, that's about you.
Report: Why is Russia's World Cup so expensive? (Part 1)
When their bid was evaluated by FIFA, Russia pledged to build the 12 host stadiums for $2.8 billion. They ended up with almost $5 billion spent and only because their currency collapsed, causing favourable exchange rates. In rubles the price has actually tripled!
Russia 2018: Your World Cup moments on StadiumDB!
So many fantastic games, festive atmosphere, sell-out crowds and iconic stadiums. And you, at the very heart of the World Cup. You can help us recreate the atmosphere by sharing your photos, which would decorate our tournament section.
Saint Petersburg: Another contractor sued for billions over Zenit Arena
The notorious new stadium in Saint Petersburg will once more be the subject of legal dispute as the Construction Committee demands RUB 4.89 billion from its second contractor. The company, Metrostroi, sees the lawsuit as invalid.
Stadium of the Year 2017: Meet the Jury Award finalists!
They went through all 27 candidates and gave their votes. Five Judges in this year's edition of our awards have decided upon 10 finalist stadiums. Your stadium isn't on the list? It can still win the Public Award!
St. Petersburg: Zenit to take over at Stadion St. Petersburg
It comes as no surprise: no other company was interested in handling the management of Russia's most expensive stadium. Only Zenit submitted a proposal and will now take care of the stadium for 49 years. The deal is worth... $1.
Stadium of the Year 2017: Let the vote begin!
27 stadiums from 19 countries begin the fight to become Stadium of the Year 2017. It's up to you which one will grab the title as we invite you to take part in the 8th Public Vote, the largest competition of its kind worldwide!
Russia: Farmer creatively mocks Zenit Arena
“Not even one ruble was stolen during construction” says the plaque hanged on this Zenit Arena. Not the original one but that built in 5 days using only hay.
Russia: Zenit's plan of having one more stadium
It's hard to believe that any football club would be willing to build a stadium of this scale just for their reserves and youth. But Zenit St. Petersburg would, apparently.
New stadium: No, it’s still not ready
Just hours ago the very first official game took place at Zenit Arena. Except Zenit doesn’t want to be mentioned in its name and no wonder. This monster requires a lot of further work.