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How the 2018 World Cup changed St. Petersburg


In 2010 Russia found out that it would host the 2018 World Cup. 11 cities got ready to hit the pitch - just like the number of players in a football team. And St. Petersburg’s jersey could’ve looked like this - plain and white. Lets see how this jersey has evolved over 8 years


The new Stadium had been discussed from every angle. Extremely long construction. Looks like a UFO. The construction began back in 2007 and it could’ve lasted for god knows how long - had it not been for the World Cup coming here. Retractable pitch, retractable roof, heating, 68 thousand capacity. The noise about all the scandals surrounding the construction will go away. FC Zenit’s home arena and the largest concert venue in the city will stay.

The deepest, the northernmost and the most convenient subway station for the fans. Two new stations. Platforms at Begovaya and Novokrestovskaya look space-like, shiny and bright - but, most importantly, they are much anticipated. Particularly for the residents of the most populated area - Primorskiy. The governor made no secret about it - had it not been for the tournament, these stations could’ve been in the works for many more years.

Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: «We are building «TO» the World Cup, not «FOR» the World Cup. The bridge, roads, subway stations - all of this will work for the city. Nothing will be useless here and we wont have to dismantle anything, like some countries do after Olympic Games».

This is how Brazilian Maracana looks today - four years after the World Cup was opened here. Its unimaginable that our infrastructure would be left without use after this month of football craze.

Yakhtenneyi Bridge is not just a place for walks and selfies, its an architectural masterpiece. 940 meters above water, observation sites, bicycle lanes. Next to it is the pillar bridge of the Western Speed Diameter and 6-lane Betancour Bridge. Three round-the-clock bridges which are not drawn - necessary for the city where being late for the bridge drawing used to be a catastrophe. Thats in the past.

Junction at Pulkovskoe highway built specifically for the World Cup. What is 24 kilometers in a big city, where the overall length of roads exceeds 4 thousand kilometers. But the same number - 24 minutes - is the time it takes to get from the airport to the stadium - crucial stat when St. Petersburg lives in a 24-hour football fever.

Living room, two bedrooms, incredible views of the World Cup’s key facilities and other pleasant bonuses. This hotel opened just a day prior to the World Cup and has already received its first guests. This room costs 38 thousand rubles a day. But there are cheaper ones at 18.

Maxim Oblender, reporter: «This is a standard room. Right from the porch, you can get into bathroom, here’s a shower, bathrobe, towels, here’s a wardrobe and a TV set. What else would a fan need? Maybe a huge bed like this - where you can rest after a match and enjoy the stars in the sky through a window in the roof - although during the White Nights it might be a problem»

The hotel built for the World Cup will be operational after it. Just like the several dozen brand new hostels. There are a thousand more rooms in the 4-5 star category. The city hasn’t experienced a hotel boom of such proportions in its 300-year history.

Russia did not win the world cup, but St. Petersburg is on the winning side. And in two years it will host Euro2020 match, so there will be even less blank spots on the football jersey.