MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. A football stadium in Russia’s Volgograd, one of 11 cities across the country selected to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has been granted a commissioning permit, the press service of the Russian Sports Ministry announced on Tuesday.
"The new arena has been built on the site of the old stadium, which was home to local football club Rotor," the press service cited Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov as saying. "This stadium will be handed over again to the Volgograd-based football club after the football championship."
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 of over one million population stretching 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 be 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 72 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.