Samara Arena

Capacity41 970
ClubsFK Krylia Sovetov Samara
Floodlights 2000 lux
Inauguration 06/05/2018 (Krylya Sovetov - Kuban Krasnodar, 1-0)
Construction 21/07/2014 - 21/04/2018
Cost RUB 18.9 billion
Design GUS SO TerrNIIgrazhdanproekt, PI Arena
Contractor PSO Kazan


Samara Arena – tournament stadium description


When Russia first fought for the hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup, most stadiums were planned along the banks of Volga and river transport was to be one of major innovations compared to previous hosts. In Samara the tournament stadium was initially envisioned on Korovij Ostrov (Cow Island), a picturesque island south of the city.

However, the remote area proved unfeasible and location was switched away from Volga, to the northern outskirts. Here, beside the 4-lane Demokraticheskaya Ulitsa, as much as 40 hectares of public green area was earmarked for development, to be connected with buses and trams before the tournament.


Samara's long tradition in aviation and cosmic industry served as inspiration of what was initially nicknamed the 'spheroid' stadium, later voted by residents to become Cosmos Arena. As the names suggest, a vast circular dome was created, resembling a UFO landing softly on the ground. The initial dome was created as international cooperation with GMP Architekten, later developed mostly in Russia.

According to the initial vision the dome would have a stunning height of 80 meters despite any masts, arches or spires, a stunning result in the stadium industry. It would become a landmark, topping the large municipal park, named after the 60th Anniversary of Sovier Power.

However, early into the construction phase Russian economy collapsed, causing a nationwide rush to cut costs of the stadiums, at that point spiraling out of control. While the concrete structure didn't see major changes, the surrounding steel dome was reduced in height by 20 meters, its cover changed from almost transparent polycarbonate to tinware and night-time llumination scrapped altogether, replaced by a modest system.

Despite such effort the stadium is still very impressive. The dome is still a huge structure with its surface of 38,346 m2, spanning way outside the auditorium and providing a fitting cosmic entry for fans. Like a starship's chasis, the steel structure welcomes visitors climbing stairs, leading them to the inner promenade. 32 long cassettes/girders gently shelter the audience from elements, even if not as spectacularly as they would have with translucent cladding.

The auditorium has a traditional layout with two regular tiers of seating and two strips of corporate areas between them. Initially the boxes and lounges were only planned along the sides, however during planning a continuous ring solution was selected for additional revenue and operational possibilities. One unique feature of the concrete seating bowl is its star shape, one more association with the space industry. Behind the stands as many as 6 floors of facilities were created, all above ground.

World Cup games

PhaseGameAttendanceDate (CET)
 Group E   Costa Rica 0–1 Serbia   41,432  17.06.2018 15:00
 Group C   Denmark 1–1 Australia   40,727  21/06/2018 15:00
 Group A   Uruguay 3–0 Russia   41,970  25/06/2018 17:00
 Group H   Senegal 0–1 Colombia   41,970  28/06/2018 17:00
 Round of 16    Brazil 2-0 Mexico   41,970  02/07/2018 17:00
 Quarterfinal    Sweden 0–2 England   39,991  07/07/2018 17:00
   Brazuca 11 goals / Avg: 1.8 Total: 248,060 / Avg: 41,343


Tournament pictures

  • Samara Arena
    After the Costa Rica - Serbia game,
    17.06.2018 © Serega2363

Non-tournament pictures

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