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Arena for victories. How the stadium at Krestovskiy Island was built

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St. Petersburg has a new landmark. The stadium at Krestovskiy island has already been described as unique.

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According to the governor Georgiy Poltavchenko, this sports facility has no equals in our country – both from design and functional points of view. The most complex technical amenities, contemporary interiors and good-looking exteriors allow holding not only sporting events of the highest level, but official events at the arena as well. Alexander Burenin takes a look

The stadium which looks like a UFO hanging above the city is ready to land on St. Petersburg’s soil. The main works are still being carried out inside, outside, at the entrance, but the arena looks ready. All those who have a sense of football, would easily notice a peculiar entourage.

Alexander Burenin, reporter: “Being close to the new stadium, everyone who has a passion for football can speculate or even dream about which national teams will play here. It's six months remaining until the Confederations Cup, the choice is not too big there, but if we look at 2018, it is much bigger. It could be Brazil, it could be Portugal, could be Germany. And I have to be honest - my personal favorite to play here would be Argentina.

The construction began with demolition. The Kirov stadium was mostly destroyed by time, and in its last several years it had almost no football at all. It served as a venue for concerts and occasional games of the second league. The resulting cauldron was meant to become the basis for the Japanese architect Kurokawa's project. Overtime it's significantly changed. The territory surrounding the venue can invoke a feeling of nostalgia with those who used to visit the legendary stadium.

Rafael Dayanov, architect: “Comfort is the main feature of a stadium. If we talk about architecture, then the final result retains very little from the original project by Kurokawa, but there are certain features of Nikolskiy’s project. Particularly, the main staircase. Two pavilions on the left and the right. And, of course, the main entrance.

As well as the monument to Kirov himself. The new arena is filled with the most up-to-date equipment. That's why, according to experts, giving a stadium its shape is only half the job. Connecting and installing all systems and communications inside is much more complicated.

Alexander Belousov, CEO “Obyedinenie Stroitelei Sankt-Peterburga: “We have 127 systems inside. It's very difficult to connect them together. The more we do it, the more conflicts and issues we encounter while trying to launch them.

After Russia won the right to host the World Cup, and St. Petersburg found itself on the list the cities hosting the games, FIFA requirements to the stadium have changed. But today all matters have been resolved, the arena has both the retractable roof and the retractable pitch. There are, however, questions about the vibration of the grass. But by the time of the first official game at the stadium, construction workers say the only kind of tremor players would feel is that of the excitement.

Alexander Belousov, CEO “Obyedinenie Stroitelei Sankt-Peterburga: “Those are like two baking sheets which you use in an oven. If you put one on top of the other you will have this little space. And it will vibrate. That's why to avoid this kind of tremor, we install suspenders in between

And, it seems, to make the whole construction lighter, workers saved the money on those suspenders. Now the problem is being resolved. By the way, the first football match on its pitch has already taken place – between workers of the arena and the government's team. Construction workers prevailed - so now it's time for them to achieve victory not on the pitch but above the pitch.

After the construction is finished, the arena will be handed over to Zenit – also for victories. It happens so that the club’s main successes evaded the Krestovskiy Island. In 1984 the main matches were held at SKK. In 23 years, when Shirl scored the winning goal in Ramenskoye, the old arena was already history. By the way, it's been a while since more than 23,000 people attended a football game in St. Petersburg. If we talk about the development of the beautiful game, then if the stadium would be full in a couple years after the launch, it will become the biggest compliments to both the stadium and the football club.

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