The South of Russia is famous for its traditions of hospitality, with its unique cuisine, lively dancing and stunning nature, but it will be great football at a perfectly set venue, with a panoramic view from every seat, that brings the scoring to Rostov-on-Don this summer.
According to Denis Smirnov, the director of the newly opened Rostov Arena, the FIFA commission rated this field as one of the best in Russia.
"The stadium is fully ready for the World Cup matches, just some final touches remain," the Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev assured during the opening ceremony.
He said that FIFA representatives were present during all three test matches (and there were seven additional inspections) to check operational activities, security and other systems of the stadium. Last but not least — the state of the grass field, imported from Holland and carefully supervised by Dutch specialists.
The Rostov Arena will host four matches in the group stage, starting with Brazil VS Switzerland on the opening day. On June 20, Uruguay will play Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea will have an encounter with Mexico and Iceland will play against Croatia on June 26.
While Russia has been preparing for tens of thousands of fans from across the globe, with each city planning a vast set of attractions, Rostov officials have decided to give guests the right to choose cultural program and even bring their own musicians to play on the main stage of the FIFA Fan Fest, located at the very historical center of the southern city.
Pavel Gavrikov, CEO of the Rostov 2018 Directorate, has announced an event-rich cultural program, including theatrical and ballet shows, modern and ethnic music festivals and events for the youngest guests of the city.
"Foreign delegations will bring their own artists, and we don't even know, who they are," Gavrikov said at a press event, held right on the Fan Festival square, where a huge 150-square-meter screen was being assembled.
The local authorities have also created special routes for fans to get from hotels right to the Rostov Arena venue and set up special shuttle-buses from the airport and train station right to the stadium.
The state-of-the-art stadium is surrounded by a new beach sports cluster. The 16 hectare sports hub, located on the bank of the Don River, will fit volleyball, football, badminton, beach tennis and even beach rugby fields. The idea of the center was proposed by Sergey Kopin, an ex-sportsman and local ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Kopin said that the beach center was also designed to host major international sports events: "Our guests from countries where beach volleyball is popular will be more than happy to see that it is also popular here, and there will be plenty of opportunities to play other games on the beach of the Don River."