MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. An inaugural test match at the new football stadium in Kaliningrad, one of Russia’s 11 cities selected to host matches of the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, was a total success, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Thursday.
The new stadium in Kaliningrad held its first test match on Wednesday between local football club Baltika and guests Krylya Sovetov FC from Samara within the frames of the National Football League tournament. Some 15,000 people attended the match, which ended 1-0 in favor of the hosts.
"This was a totally successful test match," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "There are still questions remaining and we will discuss everything in detail today."
"About 200,000 watched this game on social network websites and this is incredible," he said. "I am glad for the residents of Kaliningrad as this city received a luxurious stadium and an opportunity for the future development of this territory."
Located in Russia’s westernmost enclave the city of Kaliningrad built a completely new stadium for the 2018 World Cup on the 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 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.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 62 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.
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.