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Up to 17,000 spectators expected at test match of FIFA World Cup stadium in Volgograd

April 17, 20:21 UTC+3 VOLGOGRAD

Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, is a city boasting an over one million population and it stretches alongside the Volga River

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VOLGOGRAD, April 17. /TASS/. Up to 17,000 spectators are expected at the inaugural test match on Saturday at the new football stadium in Volgograd, which is one of 11 Russian cities selected to host games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the press service of local Rotor FC announced to TASS on Tuesday.

The test match at the new stadium will be held on April 21 within the frames of the 34th round of Russia’s FNL (National Football League) tournament between local football club Rotor and Luch-Energia FC from Vladivostok.

"About 13,000 tickets have been already sold as of today and most likely we will open another sales window tomorrow for additional 2,000 tickets," Rotor FC press service announced. "On the whole, about 17,000 people will watch the game at the stadium, including spectators with invitations."

"We have initially planned a volume of 15,000 spectators for the inaugural test match at the stadium," the press service added.

The new 45,000-seats capacity Volgograd Arena for the 2018 World Cup has been constructed on the site of the Central Stadium, which was built in 1962 and was home for Rotor Volgograd FC. The dismantling of the Central Stadium was launched in mid-October 2015.

Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, is a city boasting an over one million population and it stretches alongside the Volga River. The city and the surrounding areas were the scene of the heaviest battles of World War II and the Battle of Stalingrad is considered to be the turning point in the war.

An area of over 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) was allocated for the construction of the new stadium and parking sites almost in the heart of the city, while the Pobeda Arena itself will be occupying an area of some 124,000 square meters (30.6 acres).

At least three matches will held to test the new stadium before the world championship and they will be the games between Russian football clubs on April 21, May 2 and May 9.

The Volgograd Arena is scheduled to host four group stage matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, namely Tunisia-England on June 18, Nigeria-Iceland on June 22, Saudi Arabia-Egypt on June 25 and Japan-Poland on June 28.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 57 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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