Thursday, June 21, 2018

FIFA announces host cities and stadiums for 2018 World Cup

FIFA announced the 11 cities and stadiums that will host the 2018 World Cup, naming Yekaterinburg as one of the host cities.

In Moscow, two stadiums will hold games for the first cup in Russia. The city's 89,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the Champions League final in 2008 will be the centerpiece of the games, according to ESPN FC.

Spartak Moscow's stadium was also chosen over the arena being built for Dynamo Moscow. FIFA announced that only two stadiums in Moscow could hold games.

St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Saransk will also host matches, as will the Black Sea city of Sochi, which will also host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Yekaterinburg's Central Stadium will play host to some games. The stadium holds 44,130 and is the largest athletic facility in the city.

Thirteen cities put in bids for matches. Yaroslavl and Krasnodar were the two cities not chosen to host games.

The venue announcement came ahead of schedule, according to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, ESPN FC reports.

All of the hosting cities are west of the Urals Mountains, with the exception of Yekaterinburg.

The cities are still spread out, leading to some concerns over the distances that some fans may have to travel to watch matches.

Russian soccer officials said that other host nations have also had great distances between hosting venues. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that air and railway travel would be subsidized during the competition in order to bring down costs for traveling fans.

"Nobody will be left out in this festival of sport," Putin said, according to ESPN FC.