Construction work on Samara Arena [The Flying Saucer], one of 12 venues across 11 Russian cities to host games at next year’s FIFA World Cup, will be completed by the end of the year, the head of the Local Organizing Committee has said.
Work on the 45,000-seater arena near the southern Russian city of Samara is around a month behind schedule, but the venue will still be completed by the end of the year, Aleksey Sorokin said on Tuesday, TASS reported.
“Samara is lagging behind but now the gap is being bridged,” Sorokin said.
“Last week there was a visit that helped to make the situation clear and remove many problems. We are confident that we will be able to build everything in time and will have time to organize several games there in the spring, like at other stadiums.”
Once it has been officially opened in spring, the stadium will host test matches before being used as a World Cup venue.
The design is intended to reflect Samara’s image as a city of aviation and space technology, and will feature a spherical dome up to 60 meters [196ft] tall with an opening in the middle, resembling a flying saucer.
It will be renamed the ‘Cosmos Arena’ after the World Cup, and will be home to local football club Krylia Sovetov, who currently play in Russia’s second tier.
The other 10 cities that will host matches at the 2018 World Cup are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, and Ekaterinburg.
This summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia allowed the brand new St. Petersburg Arena to be showcased, as well as Kazan Arena, Moscow’s Spartak Stadium, and Sochi’s Fisht Stadium.
World football’s showpiece tournament will be held between June 14 and July 15, with the final taking place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation works.