Krestovsky Stadium: Zenit St. Petersburg

Futbolnaya al. 1, Saint Petersburg, 197110, Russia
Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s reasonably fair to say that the Krestovsky Stadium has endured something of a trouble time since the building of it was announced back in 2006. For starts, it was supposed to open in 2008, yet wasn’t completed until almost a decade later. How the construction of it was funded has also changed numerous times, with Gazprom originally doing so in return for sponsorship rights of the new ground. They pulled out in 2009 and the city government of Saint Petersburg took over, only for the construction company to announce that they were owed 1 billion rubles in 2016, ceasing their work never to return.

Still, let’s not criticise the stadium for taking so long to get built but instead rejoice that it was able to join the party at all. It is officially called the Krestovsky Stadium and at one point was intended to be named the Gazprom Arena. It is known to fans of the Russian Premier League as Zenit Arena and during the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup it was the Saint Petersburg Stadium. Some football grounds go their entire existence with just the one name, whilst the home of Zenit St. Petersburg had four before it was even properly open.

Stats

Krestovsky Stadium Stats
Year Opened2017
Capacity68,134
Average Attendance49,708
Record Attendance57,286 (Chile v Germany (2017))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknameZenit Arena
Former NameSaint Petersburg Stadium, Gazprom Arena
OwnerZenit St. Petersburg
Clubs HostedZenit St. Petersburg
First FixtureZenit St. Petersburg v Ural Yekaterinburg (22/04/2017)
Zenit St. Petersburg Stats
Year Founded1925
NicknameLvi (Lions), Sine-Belo-Golubye (The Blue-White-Sky Blues), Zenitchiki (The Anti-aircraft Gunners)
Club MascotBig Lion
RivalsSpartak Moscow, Dinamo Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Torpedo Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow
Previous StadiumsKirov Stadium, Petrovsky Stadium
KitBlue (Home) / White & Light Blue (Away)
Training GroundGazprom Training Center
Shirt SponsorGazprom
Team OwnerGazprombank
Record GoalscorerAleksandr Kerzhakov (120)
Record AppearancesAleksandr Anyukov (372)

Krestovsky Stadium Photos

Krestovsky Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Кирилл Венедиктов (soccer.ru) [CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The Krestovsky Stadium is designed to have a bowl of continuous seating running right the way around it. There are two tiers, with the seating at either end of the pitch going a little bit higher than along the sides.

Zenit St. Petersburg Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for Zenit matches vary depending on where you’d like to sit. If you’re happy enough with seats in the Curva then you’ll be looking at about 700-800 rubles. Move to the sides of the stadium and the price will go up to between 800 and 1300 rubles, whilst VIP Zone tickets tend to be between 1600 and 1700 rubles. Children under 7 can attend matches for free.

How To Get Zenit St. Petersburg Tickets

The club’s website is the best place to start, but you can also get them over the phone if your Russian is passable. Alternatively you can get them from the ticket office or from ticket machines found in numerous locations.

Getting To Krestovsky Stadium

Swap Start/End

Train - Getting a train to St. Petersburg probably isn’t the most sensible route, considering it will take you over two days to complete your journey. Once you’re in the city you’ll be able to get a train to right next to the ground, with the Krestovskiy Ostrov stop being the closest.

Bus - Buses 10, 14, 25, 25A, S2, S3 and S4 all stop near to the ground. There’s also a tram service that you can jump on if you’d rather do that. None of them will take you that close to the stadium, though.

Car - The 3C Western High Speed motorway will take you right next to the ground, though if you’re thinking of driving then you might be best off getting a sat-nav and putting the address into it.

By Air - Fourteen miles South of Saint Petersburg stands the Pulkovo Airport. It serves international flights, so it’s where you’ll be flying into if you’ve decided not to bother with the two day train journey.

Taxi - Getting a cab from the centre of the city out to the ground will take about half an hour. It will cost you in the region of 800 rubles.

Parking Near Krestovsky Stadium

There is a limited amount of parking at the stadium itself, but plenty of places to park your car on ground nearby.

Krestovsky Stadium Hotels

Boutique Hotel Grand - £40+

Morskaya Naberezhnaya 39 Bldg 1, Vasileostrovskiy district, St. Petersburg, 199155
Less than a mile from the stadium is this hotel that has just fifteen rooms. As the name suggests, it is a boutique establishment with a bar, free Wi-Fi and free parking. You can get breakfast there and there’s also a business centre if you need to do a little bit of work before you head off to watch the match. More details.

Hotel Park Krestovskiy - £60+

12, Severnaya Doroga, St. Petersburg, 197110
If the Boutique Hotel Grand is all about getting a personal experience then Hotel Park is completely the opposite. There are just under 300 rooms, a restaurant and a bar. Again, you can get yourself some breakfast and there are also six tennis courts for your amusement. There are a number of meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi, all in a hotel located around half a mile from the ground. More details.

Park Inn by Radisson Pribaltiyskaya Hotel - £100+

14 Korablestroiteley Street, St. Petersburg, 199226
If you’re in a foreign city then you might just want to stay somewhere that you recognise and know. That’s where chain hotels come in and, in this instance, the Park Inn by Radisson. It’s about two and a half miles from Zenit Arena and offers over a thousand rooms. There are three restaurants, a fitness centre and a library to keep you amused. There’s also free Wi-Fi and a hot and cold breakfast buffet included in the cost of your stay. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Krestovsky Stadium

Rugby House Pub

191024, Goncharnaya ul., 24, St Petersburg, Leningradskaya oblast', 191036 (+7 921 942 92 03)
The clue is in the name when it comes to this one. It’s a pub that’s predominantly interested in rugby and has the memorabilia around the place to demonstrate as much. As with any venue that shows live sport, of course, they don’t limit what they offer merely to rugby. You’ll be able to watch any big live sport event whilst having a drink and enjoying some delicious food. Not bad, all things considered.

Sports' Bar 84

Original Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden, Batayskiy per., 3А, Sankt-Peterburg, 190013 (+7 812 335 22 70)
Once again the name tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this venue, except this time it’s a generic sports bar as opposed to one that specialises in rugby. As you’d expect from a sports bar, there’s loads to drink and plenty of TVs dotted around the place on which you can watch live events. There are also pool tables and plenty of drinking options.

Union

Liteyniy avenue, 55, Sankt-Peterburg, 191014 (+7 812 644 54 14)
Union is a funky bar in St. Petersburg that tends to be more about the drinking and having fun than anything else. They show live football, though, so it’s a decent place to go if you want to watch a match. There’s also live music hosted there on a regular basis, meaning that if you’re the sort of person that likes to have a party as well as watch some sport then it’s absolutely the best place to head to.

Hospitality

By Кирилл Венедиктов (soccer.ru) [CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The two tiers of the stadium are separated by a row of executive boxes that stretch right the way around the ground.

Private Hire

The number of executive boxes within the ground allow for Zenit to hire out sections of the stadium to people for private events. If that’s something you’re interested in then get in touch with the club and they’ll let you know how it works.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing you can’t do tours of the Krestovsky Stadium, but if that changes we’ll let you know.

About Zenit St. Petersburg

Papas Dos / Flickr.com

Founded in 1925 and known to some as Football Club Zenit, Zenit Saint Petersburg’s history is linked in some ways to the political history of the city itself. The first ever game of football in all of Russia was held in the city in 1897 when an English team went up against a Russian XI. Numerous teams came before Zenit in the city, with the club dating their history back to Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod and the side didn’t change its name to its current one until 1936.

The club won its first silverware in 1944 when they picked up the Soviet Cup, something they did again in 1998–99. Generally speaking, however, Zenit St. Petersburg’s success has arrived since the club was taken over by Gazprom in 2005. The won the Russian title once before that, in 1984, but have won it four times since then at the time of writing. They’ve won four Russian Cups in total, five Russian Super Cups and a Russian Premier League Cup. In 2008 they won the UEFA Cup, beating Glasgow Rangers in the final.

Krestovsky Stadium History

By Dinamik (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The stadium was designed by a Japanese architect named Kisho Kurokawa. He’d previously designed the Toyota Stadium in Toyota City, with Zenit Arena being a modified version of that that was also enlarged. It was built on the site of Kirov Stadium, which opened in 1950 and was demolished in 2006. Krestovsky Stadium opened in time to be one of the main grounds used in the Confederations Cup in 2017, actually hosting the final between Chile and Germany that the Germans won 1-0. At the time of writing it is scheduled to be used in both the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and the UEFA European Championships in 2020.

As mentioned at the start, the building of the stadium has not been without problems, including controversy. The city of Zenit St. Petersburg’s former deputy governor, Marat Oganesyan, was arrested after being accused of benefiting from a kickback scheme from some of the constructors. Zenit played two league game on the pitch at the end of the 2016-2017 season but couldn’t play the remainder as scheduled because the grass cut up too much. The roof is supposed to be able to melt snow as it lands, but failed tests to prove it wouldn’t collapse if too much of the white stuff accumulated on it.

Future Developments

Ler / Flickr.com

For all of its reported problems, Krestovsky Stadium is a state-of-the-art venue. Though some small changes might occur in order to deal with the issues that are revealed as the ground is used, the stadium is mostly likely to remain as is for the foreseeable future.

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