Host Cities
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The 2018 FIFA World Cup was hosted by Russia, and was the first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe. There were 32 teams, and matches were played in 12 venues across 11 cities (Moscow had 2 stadiums in use).

Stadiums


A total of twelve stadiums in eleven Russian cities were built and renovated for the FIFA World Cup.

Kaliningrad: Kaliningrad Stadium. The first piles were driven into the ground in September 2015. On 11 April 2018 the new stadium hosted its first match.

Kazan: Kazan Arena. The stadium was built for the 2013 Summer Universiade. It has since hosted the 2015 World Aquatics Championship and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The stadium serves as a home arena to FC Rubin Kazan.

Moscow: Luzhniki Stadium. The largest stadium in the country was closed for renovation in 2013. The stadium was commissioned in November 2017.

Moscow: Spartak Stadium. The stadium is a home arena to its namesake FC Spartak Moscow. In accordance with the FIFA requirements, during the 2018 World Cup it is called Spartak Stadium instead of its usual name Otkritie Arena. The stadium hosted its first match on 5 September 2014.

Nizhny Novgorod: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. The construction of the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium commenced in 2015. The project was completed in December 2017.

Rostov-on-Don: Rostov Arena. The stadium is located on the left bank of the Don River. The stadium construction was completed on 22 December 2017.

Saint Petersburg: Saint Petersburg Stadium. The construction of the stadium commenced in 2007. The project was officially completed on 29 December 2016. The stadium has hosted games of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and will serve as a venue for UEFA Euro 2020.

Samara: Samara Arena. The construction officially started on 21 July 2014. The project was completed on 21 April 2018.

Saransk: Mordovia Arena. The stadium in Saransk was scheduled to be commissioned in 2012 in time for the opening of the all-Russian Spartakiad, but the plan was revised. The opening was rescheduled to 2017. The arena hosted its first match on 21 April 2018.

Sochi: Fisht Stadium. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Afterwards, it was renovated in preparation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup.

Volgograd: Volgograd Arena. The main arena of Volgograd was built on the demolished Central Stadium site, at the foot of the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The stadium was commissioned on 3 April 2018.

Yekaterinburg: Ekaterinburg Arena. The Central Stadium of Yekaterinburg has been renovated for the FIFA World Cup. The arena's stands have a capacity of 35,000 spectators. The renovation project was completed in December 2017.

Panini produced a series of cards for the World Cup, with a variety of interesting sets included. The host city set has 11 cards, and fortunately they appeared with regularity on eBay. I was able to pick up the last 3 cards that I needed by mid September.

I want to give a shout out to Chris, an employee at COMC (@CheckOutMyCards), who helped me complete the set. Due to high shipping costs from some of the eBay auctions, I sent a few cards to my COMC account. Apparently while donating some cards to their charity account I had accidently included my Kazan card. I was unaware of that at the time, and it wasn't until much later that I realized that it was missing from my inventory. By that time Kazan listings had dried up on eBay, so I contacted the COMC help department, and Chris was able to quickly find the card and move it back into my inventory for shipping. Much appreciated Chris!

I used Book Creator to create this page. The Saint Petersburg and Moscow cards inspired me to try some funky colours/designs in the background. You'll also notice a qr code at the bottom right of my page, it will lead to a video on YouTube that shows details of the cities and stadiums. I love the fact that I can make my page interactive. At some point down the road I might print out smaller versions of my Book Creator pages and frame them. With my smart phone in hand I can view some awesome videos to enhance my viewing pleasure. I also want to thank the people from Vexels.com for allowing people to use their wonderful map (with attribution).