|Clubs||FK Baltika Kaliningrad|
|Inauguration||12/05/2018 (Baltika - FK Tyumen, 3-1)|
|Opening game||11/04/2018 (Baltika - Kryly Sovetov, 1-0)|
|Construction||11/09/2015 - 23/03/2018|
|Cost||RUB 18.5 billion|
Kaliningrad Stadium – tournament stadium description
Sliding inner roof over the field and one of the very fiew roofs able to lower its height after the World Cup, once the upper tier of seating is removed. That's what was planned for Kaliningrad back in 2012 and included in the winning concept of Willmotte & Associes. Once actual design work was being carried out by Mostovik, it was also part of the project.
However, Mostovik collapsed as a company in 2013, causing a standstill. To worsen its effect, all of Russia's economy began going down and by 2014 it was certain that such stadium would be far too expensive and not viable for timely delivery ahead of the World Cup.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Kaliningrad in 2014 was already the most delayed host-city of the 2018 World Cup, to the extent that sports minister suggested changing the stadium's location to an easier site. The one selected by Kaliningrad authorities is part of Oktyabrsky Ostrov (October Island), a swampy and unoccuppied island at the heart of the city. The city decided to stick to it, planning a new microdistrict covering 140 hectares. The stadium plot itself received 24.4 hectares, of which 5.86 ha was dedicated to the stadium itself.
Due to growing delays and rapidly falling exchange rate of the rouble, FIFA for the first time in decades agreed to reduce the minimum required capacity from 45,000 to 35,000 (this also happened in Yekaterinburg). The contract for both design and construction was awarded to a joint venture of companies from the Crocus Group, in order to deliver the stadium in shorter time.
For construction to be as fast as possible, the completely new design of 2015 became Russia's single only stadium to be built almost entirely with prefabricated steel rather than monolithic concrete frame created on site. The outcome of such decision was satisfyingly fast.
While in September of 2015 the very first of 7,000 piles was pushed into the ground to strengthen the wetland, just a year later almost all of the primary steel structure was in place. However, that still left little time for further works and eventually the stadium failed to meet its deadline of December, 2017. Permit for use was only granted in late March of 2018.
The stadium was downsized and simplified to the extent possible, becoming the second smallest in terms of floor space (112,500 m2 is only more than the extremely constrained Yekaterinburg stadium). Aesthetically, nothing is left from the impressive renders by Willmotte and Mostovik. The Crocus vision is conservative, though it has its fans as well.
The angular outer form is created with perforated white and blue aluminium panels, which – just like the seating layout – mimic the colours of FK Baltika, Kaliningrad's traditional club. Thanks to the perforations in its facade, the stadium isn't entirely opaque and relies on natural ventilation. The stadium reaches peak height of 47 meters with its 32 pylons supporting the roof.
Because the stadium's structure is simple, the idea of downsizing in legacy mode is the one thing which was preserved from 2012 and 2013 concepts. If dismantling of parts of the upper tier goes forward, capacity may be reduced to 25,000.
World Cup games
|Group D||Croatia 2–0 Nigeria||31,136||16/06/2018 21:00|
|Group E||Serbia 1–2 Switzerland||33,167||22/06/2018 20:00|
|Group B||Spain 2–2 Morocco||33,973||25/06/2018 20:00|
|Group G||England 0–1 Belgium||33,973||28/06/2018 20:00|
|10 goals / Avg: 2.5||Total: 132,249 / Avg: 33,062|
Russia: Kaliningrad stadium surroundings to open up to the community
With better weather, residents took to the Pregolya riverside promenade in Kaliningrad. This prompted the stadium operator to invite them inside what is a 16-hectare perimeter of the World Cup venue.
Russia: Kaliningrad out of the red only thanks to federal support
Since 2019 the World Cup stadiums are transferred from federal to regional management. But for Kaliningrad survival wouldn't be possible if not for federal support, which accounts for 90% of the budget.
Russia: Kaliningrad stadium surrounded by cavities
Asphalt rolling into waves, pavement holes a meter deep, sewers and drainage not working and all of that blamed on... beavers? No, that's just a local joke in Kaliningrad, where stadium construction remains a controversial issue.
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: Kaliningrad yet to have a business plan for stadium
It's over. Kaliningrad hosted all of its football games during this year's World Cup and now the gradual transition into regular use begins. Except that there's no business plan for the 35,000-seat stadium.
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.
Russia 2018: How Kaliningrad didn't get a top-class stadium
The westernmost city of this year's World Cup was supposed to receive a stadium with retractable roof and possibly the most versatile facilities. But that just didn't happen. Why?
New stadium: The outcome of maaany changes in Kaliningrad
It's been one of the most changed stadiums of the World Cup. What we see built is already the 4th concept applied for the Oktyabrsky Ostrov site. The most modest one, but still likeable.