Club: FC Zenit | Opening: 2017 | Capacity: 68,000 seats
History and description
Gazprom Arena, also known as Saint Petersburg Stadium, Zenit Arena, and Krestovsky Stadium, got built to serve as a new modern home of FC Zenit and as one of the playing venues of the 2018 World Cup. It was built in place of the former Kirov Stadium.
Planning for the new stadium began late 2005, and first construction works started by the end of 2008. The stadium was initially planned to be completed in 2009, but works were hampered by a series of delays, including a redesign to comply with FIFA requirements and fraud investigations.
Works finally sped up in 2016 and the stadium was completed in April 2017, however overall costs had soared past $1 billion, which made it one of the most expensive stadiums ever built.
The first official match at Saint Petersburg Stadium was played on 22 April 2017 when Zenit hosted Ural for a league match (2-0).
The stadium has been designed by Japanese architecture firm Kisho Kurokawa and resembles the form of a spaceship with the roof held up by four masts. It has some similarities with that of the Japanese Toyota Stadium, which was designed by the same firm.
Saint Petersburg Stadium was one of the playing venues of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, during which it hosted four first round group matches, a quarter final, the semi final between France and Belgium (1-0), and the match for third place between Belgium and England (2-0). It also hosted four matches during the 2017 Confederations Cup, including the final.
After the World Cup, the stadium took the sponsor name Gazprom Arena.
In 2021, the stadium was once again a playing venue during a major tournament when it hosted six first round group matches and the quarter final between Spain and Switzerland (1-1) during the 2020 European Championships.
The Gazprom Arena has been selected to host the 2022 Champions League final.
How to get to the Gazprom Arena
The Gazprom Arena is located on the western tip of Krestovsky Island in the north-west of St. Petersburg. The stadium lies about 7.5 kilometres away from Palace Square in St. Petersburg’s city centre.
The nearest metro station is Krestovsky Ostrov on the purple line 5, which runs right through central St. Petersburg. It is still a 25-minute walk from the station to the stadium through Maritime Victory Park though.
Bus 10 and 25 stop a little closer to the stadium, but still a 15-minute walk away. Bus 10 runs through central St. Petersburg while bus 25 runs through northern parts of St. Petersburg.
Eat, drink, and sleep near the Gazprom Arena
The Gazprom Arena is located on the tip of Krestovsky Island surrounded on three sides by the Baltic Sea. On its eastern side lie various sports facilities, the pleasant Maritime Victory Park, including an amusement park, and further on residential areas.
It is a pleasant area on a nice day, which is also popular with the locals. There are furthermore a reasonable number of restaurants in the area, mostly on the southern shore. The nearby Karl-Friedrich Brewhouse has a large beer garden.
There are a few hotels near Saint Petersburg Stadium, but they are all of the luxurious type so expect to pay a hefty price. The Arena Hotel and Hotel Park Krestovskiy are located right next to the stadium, while Parklane Resort and SPA and Hermes Park Hotel are located closer to the metro station.
Tickets for Zenit games can be bought online, or at the ticket office at the Gazprom Arena.
Ticket prices depend on the opponent, but expect to pay from RUB 400 for an upper tier seat to RUB 1,900 for a central seat at one of the sides.
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