ROSTOV-ON-DON, March 30. /TASS/. The authorities of Russia’s southern Rostov Region expect up to 300,000 foreign football fans to be visiting the region this summer for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Yury Molodchenko, a deputy governor of the region, said on Friday.
The city of Rostov-on-Don is one of 11 cities across Russia selected as the venue for hosting games of the much-anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off this summer.
"We have official statistics provided by the Match Accommodation source, which reports that about 20,000-30,000 places have been booked for accommodating FIFA’s client groups, but regarding the number of football fans we expect the figure of some 300,000 and this figure reflects only those, who had already booked places for accommodation," Molodchenko said.
According to Molodchenko, foreign officials and diplomats have already issued their tentative confirmations for coming to the world championship’s matches in Rostov-on-Don.
"South Korea, Saudi Arabia issued their confirmations as well as the Swiss Ambassador (to Russia)," he said. "We will see how it goes with Brazil, confirmations are expected by late may, invitations have been sent and the Russian Foreign Ministry is closely cooperating on all of these issues."
Rostov-on-Don, founded in 1749, is a modern city with a population of over one million and it overlooks the beautiful Don River. The city is located about 1,000 kilometers (over 620 miles) to the southeast of Moscow.
The newly-built Rostov Arena is located on the south bank of the Don River and will have an estimated 45,000-seat capacity during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The football arena is also intended to become after the world championship the home stadium for Rostov football club - the 2014 Russian Cup winners.
The football arena in Rostov-on-Don is scheduled to host a total of four group stage matches as well as one match of the Last 16 stage during the 2018 World Cup. The scheduled group stage matches at the stadium: Brazil-Switzerland on June 17; Uruguay-Saudi Arabia on June 20; South Korea-Mexico on June 23; Iceland-Croatia on June 26.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 75 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.