The 2018 FIFA World Cup is coming up, and while most of the attention will appropriately be focused on the games and the players, it’s worth looking at one of the the actual stadiums before the big event kicks off.
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Russia's Samara Arena will host six games including a Round-of-16 tie and a quarter-final match-up. Then, Costa Rica’s tournament campaign will take place against Serbia on June 17th, while Russia plays Uruguay in their final group-stage match on June 25th.
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But beyond the games, the impressive stadium stands on its own, especially considering its futuristic look. Samara's outer-space style was designed to have a transparent dome, which definitely looks a lot like a flying saucer or a spaceship. This is thought to be a reflection of Samara’s very important role in Russian and global space exploration, specifically Russia’s aerospace center.
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It was built on the highest part of Samara in the Radiotsentr district and can seat up to 45,000 fans. After this year’s World Cup, the arena will become the permanent home for local side Krylia Sovetov, the winner of a promotional opportunity to the top-flight Russian Premier League as the last season ended.
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The first games at the stadium happened in April and May when it was tested for the first time. The local Krylia Sovetov beat Fakel Voronezh in front of 40,000 spectators. Samara, the capital of the Samara Region, was founded in 1586 and has a population of 1.1 million people. Check out the video below to see the other 2018 World Cup stadiums...