NIZHNY NOVGOROD, May 13. /TASS/. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Football Park in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod was visited by 11,900 people on its inaugural day on Saturday, organizers told TASS.
The opening ceremony for the park took place earlier in the day. The ceremony was attended by a former goalkeeper of the Croatian national team, Stipe Pletikosa; Nizhny Novgorod Region acting governor Dmitry Svatkovsky and other important guests.
"On the first day, we have set a record for the number of Football Park visitors - 11,900 people," organizers said.
Since late March, Football Parks were being held at open-air sites in host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The first one opened in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on March 24. During those festivals, which last several days, the public can meet football stars, enjoy open-air football matches, attractions and multimedia quizzes offering up the chance to win souvenir prizes.
The event will be held in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg on May 19-20, in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad on June 2-3 and in Moscow. In the Russian capital, the Football Park will go up in the iconic Red Square on June 17 and will remain open until the end of the championship.
Russia was granted the right to host the football championship after clinching the bid in Guatemala in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against a bid from England, a joint bid from Portugal and Spain and another joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country 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 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.