KALININGRAD, May 12. /TASS/. Russia’s westernmost region of Kaliningrad is ready to welcome the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Acting Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on Saturday during her working trip to Kaliningrad cited by the regional government’s press service.
"The work at the facilities is complete," she said. "We can say even today that the Kaliningrad region is ready to welcome those who will wish to visit the region during the World Cup," the press service said citing Golodets.
Earlier, the deputy prime minister oversaw reconstruction of Hrabrovo airport and the city’s emergency hospital. Besides, she kicked off the match opening the Kaliningrad stadium and inspected its infrastructure.
The 35,000-seat stadium was unveiled by Acting Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District Alexander Beglov, and Kaliningrad Region Governor Anton Alikhanov who symbolically kicked-off the match.
Located in Russia’s westernmost enclave, the city of Kaliningrad built a brand-new stadium for the 2018 World Cup on Oktyabrsky Island. The stadium’s construction met the previously set deadline and the new facility may be one of the cheapest built for the global championship in Russia after FIFA allowed to reduce the seating capacity to 35,000.
Russia’s old city of Kaliningrad had already had one stadium. The 14,660-seat Baltika Stadium was constructed in late 19th century on money donated by philanthropist Walter Simon. At that time the stadium was located within Germany’s Konigsberg, which became Russia’s Kaliningrad after the World War II.
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.
The new stadium in Kaliningrad will host four group stage matches of the 2018 World Cup: Croatia-Nigeria on June 16, Serbia-Switzerland on June 22, Spain-Morocco on June 25 and England-Belgium on June 28.