Kaliningrad Stadium: FC Baltika Kaliningrad

54.698343, 20.533848
By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Kaliningrad Stadium was built ahead of the 2018 World Cup, opening just months before the tournament was due to get underway. It was intended to replace Baltika Stadium, the home of FC Baltika Kaliningrad. It had over 35,000 seats for the World Cup and was reduced to 25,000 in the wake of the competition in order to allow Baltika Kaliningrad to play their games there. That is part of the legacy program that the Russian Football Union put in place to ensure that the hard work, and cost, of preparing for the World Cup didn't go to waste after it was over.

The inspiration for the design of the ground came from Bayern Munich's home, the Allianz Arena. Given that that stadium was one of the ground's used to host matches during the 2006 World Cup, it was a decision that made some sort of sense. Unfortunately, the building of the ground was beset with problems from the outset. Built on Oktyabrsky Island, which translates as October Island, the designers had to alter their ideas on account of the fact that the wetland grass in the area didn't allow for the most solid of bases for construction. We'll tell you more about that, later.

Stats

Kaliningrad Stadium Stats
Year Opened2017
Capacity35,212
Average Attendance33,062
Record Attendance33,973 (Spain v Morocco (2018))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
Former NameArena Baltika
OwnerRussian Government
Clubs HostedFC Baltika Kaliningrad
First FixtureCroatia v Nigeria (16/06/2018)
FC Baltika Kaliningrad Stats
Year Founded1954
NicknameBalda
Previous StadiumsBaltika Stadium
KitWhite & Blue (Home) / Blue (Away)
Team OwnerKaliningrad/Kaliningrad Oblast

Kaliningrad Stadium Photos

Kaliningrad Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Jon Candy / Flickr.com

The Kaliningrad Stadium is built in a bowl style, which is quite common in new stadia around the world and especially on the continent. The idea was always to have two-tiers, with a separate VIP section running around the middle between them both.

FC Baltika Kaliningrad Ticket Prices

If you’d like to go and watch an FC Baltika Kaliningrad game then you’ll pay between 100 and 200 rubles depending on where you’d like to sit. Pensioners will pay 100 rubles to sit in the 9th sector.

How To Get FC Baltika Kaliningrad Tickets

You can get tickets directly from the stadium or you can call the club up and buy them over the phone. There’s also a website that you can go to if you’d rather pay for your tickets online.

Where to Buy

Getting To Kaliningrad Stadium

Swap Start/End

Train - It’s nearly one and a half thousand miles from London to Kaliningrad, so you’re probably not going to want to make that journey by train. If you did it would take you to Paris, Berlin, Warsaw and the Moscow before heading on to your destination. Once you arrive in the city you’ll be able to get to Kaliningrad-Passazhirskiy railway station, which is about an hour away from the ground on foot.

Bus - The infrastructure around the stadium will undoubtedly improve once the World Cup gets closer, but for now both buses 45 and 46 stop on the right side of the Pregolya River to walk there easily enough.

Car - the A229 is the largest main road close to the ground’s location.

By Air - Khrabrovo Airport is about twenty miles from the centre of the city.

Taxi - A taxi from the centre of Kaliningrad out to Kaliningrad Stadium will cost you around 1600 rubles and take about twenty minutes to complete its journey.

Parking Near Kaliningrad Stadium

The stadium was designed with a large car park area, so finding somewhere to put your car if you want to drive to the game shouldn’t be a problem.

Useful Resources

Kaliningrad Stadium Hotels

Hotel ibis Kaliningrad Center - £40+

Moskovsky Prospekt 52, Kaliningrad, 236006
It’s often good to stay in a chain hotel because you know what you’re getting. The Hotel ibis very much fits into that category, with over 150 rooms to welcome people. There are many different facilities that you’ll no doubt want to take advantage of, including a restaurant and bar. There’s a terrace area for the nicer weather, a library if you’d like somewhere quieter to head to and a business centre. There’s also free Wi-Fi and self-parking to make life easier. More details.

Hotel Kaiserhof - £50+

Oktyabrskaya Str. 6A, Kaliningrad, 236039
The Hotel Kaiserhof is slightly smaller than the ibis with around 120 rooms. There’s a restaurant and bar, but you might be more interested in the full-service spa and indoor pool. There’s also a health club, so if you’re looking for somewhere to chill out and relax then this is the hotel for you. As with the ibis there’s a library for those that want to chill out and there’s also free Wi-Fi. If you’re in a car then you’ll be pleased with the free parking available to you, too. More details.

Radisson Hotel Kaliningrad - £60+

Pobedy Square 10, Kaliningrad, 236010
In the heart of Kaliningrad is another chain hotel, the Radisson. It offers a fitness centre complete with a spa, so you can unwind if you’d like to. You can have a bite to eat in the hotel’s restaurant and get a drink in the bar. If you’re there to do a little bit of work then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s free Wi-Fi that you can use. There’s also an airport shuttle for those flying in to Khrabrovo Airport. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Kaliningrad Stadium

Sport Bar № 5

ul. Suvorova, 54У, Konigsberg, Kaliningradskaya oblast', 236039 (+7 401 264 2525)
If you want to watch some live sport then your best choice will always be to head to a sports bar. Sports Bar № 5 ticks all of the boxes that you’ll want, including plenty of screens to show live events on. You can eat both European and Italian style food here as well as enjoy all of the drinks that you’d expect. From soft drinks through to decent lagers and Russian vodka, there’s virtually nothing that you won’t be able to get hold of.

Sport Bar Barca

Epronovskaya st., 4-6, Kaliningrad, 236000 (+7 401 239 8484)
If you head to Sports Bar Barca then you’re in for a treat. As well as plenty of different Barcelona memorabilia dotted around the place, there are also enough TVs to mean that you’ll be able to see any live sport that’s shown on them. Given the ties to Barcelona it’s unlikely to be a surprise to anyone that the bar has a Spanish theme, including the food you can buy there. Most importantly, there are karaoke nights held on a regular basis - what’s not to love?

Extreme sports bar «XxxX»

ul. Karla Marksa, 18, Konigsberg, Kaliningradskaya oblast', 236006 (Unknown)
What’s the only thing better than a sports bar? An extreme sports bar, of course! The one in Kaliningrad is heavier on the bar than it is on the sport, so you’ll probably want to consider it to be more of a nightspot than somewhere to head to for a quiet bite to eat. You’ll have a cracking time there, though, so don’t let the fact that it’s more of a party venue than anything else put you off popping in there.

Hospitality

As with public tours, FC Baltika Kaliningrad haven’t outlined the ways in which they’ll allow private hire of the venue yet. Given that it’s one of the newest stadiums in Russia, however, it would be remarkable if they didn’t let companies and businesses use its various areas for meetings and so on.

Private Hire

As with public tours, FC Baltika Kaliningrad haven’t outlined the ways in which they’ll allow private hire of the venue yet. Given that it’s one of the newest stadiums in Russia, however, it would be remarkable if they didn’t let companies and businesses use its various areas for meetings and so on.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing, it's unclear whether FC Baltika Kaliningrad plan to allow tours of the stadium. If they make a decision one or the other then we'll update this section accordingly.

About FC Baltika Kaliningrad

Westpress Kaliningrad archive, image # / Alexandr Podgorchuk, Logo Klops.svg / CC-BY-SA 4.0 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

FC Baltika Kaliningrad is a football club that has gone through numerous phases over the years. Founded as Pishchevik Kaliningrad back in 1954, the name was changed to its current one four years later. The side gradually made its way through the Russian league system over the years after its foundation, culminating in a seventh placed finish in the Russian top-flight in 1996 - their highest ever league position. Just two years later, however, they were relegated back down to the second division despite competing in the Intertoto Cup that year.

Since their journey through the ranks reached its nadir in the 1990s, they have generally played their football in the top-flight. Occasionally they have spent seasons dropping down the pecking order, which is part of what has made their existence such an interesting one. They also had a reserve team that played in the lower leagues of the Russian Football League system. This side was known by the name 'FC Baltika-d Kaliningrad' when the main team was in the Third Division, becoming FC Baltika-2 Kaliningrad when they reached the Second Division. They might not be one the best teams in Russia, but they’ve still had their fair share of internationals playing for them over the years. A sign, perhaps, that longevity is as important in Russian football as success.

Kaliningrad Stadium History

By Rakoon (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Given the fact that the stadium only opened in 2018 ahead of that summer’s World Cup, it’s not unfair to suggest that there isn’t a huge amount of history that we can tell you about Kaliningrad Stadium. The original rights to design the ground were won by a company called Mostovik and in 2013 they published plans for a stadium that had the working title of ‘Arena Baltika’. The project was taken over by Crocus International the following year when Mostovik was declared bankrupt. The initial idea was to build the ground on exactly the same location as Baltika Stadium, where FC Baltika Kaliningrad played their games, but ultimately a decision was taken to move it to Oktyabrsky Island instead.

That was a decision that nearly proved costly, given the unstable nature of the wetlands that it needed to be built on. The original design included the likes of a retractable roof and a capacity ten-thousand seats larger than it ended up with. The ground was broken in 2015 for the building of the newly designed stadium, with the race then being on for it open in time for the World Cup. As it was being built for the tournament and was intended to host four of the Group Stage matches, it was surrounded by state-of-the-art security systems and CCTV cameras during its building phase.

Future Developments

By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

As part the Russian Football Union's legacy planning, the stadium was to drop down to 25,000 seats after the World Cup. Obviously that required building work, including the area surrounding the ground. The plan is for residential developments to be built there, as well as riverside embankments. It's also likely that music concerts and other events will be hosted at the ground, given that FC Baltika Kaliningrad have an average attendance of just a few thousand.

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