A Short History of Yekaterinburg Arena
The City’s Arena Has a Long and Proud History
The current Yekaterinburg Arena was completed in 1957 and is a historical landmark for the city, and especially its sports fans, having hosted some of the city’s most important sporting events. The history of the site even predates the arena itself.
Yekaterinburg’s athletes have congregated at this spot since 1900, when a velodrome opened, ﬁnanced by a wealthy merchant and patron. The velodrome, one of the ﬁrst sporting sites in the city, increased interest in sports as a whole and soon became a training ground for tennis players, runners, and croquet players. In 1913, the ﬁrst Ural football championships were held in the velodrome. Yekaterinburg, with a little coaching from the English consul, handily won the championship, beating Perm 8-1 in the ﬁnal.
Needing something new and shiny to put Lenin’s name on, the Soviets tore down the velodrome in 1925, building the 5,000-seat Lenin Stadium. It opened with much fanfare three years later, providing the city with a new football pitch and running tracks.
By the early 1950s, the two football teams from Sverdlovsk (as the city was called at the time) had seen considerable success, and crowds were no longer able to ﬁt into the Lenin Stadium; the site was cleared again, this time to make way for the current arena, now the home of FC Ural.
Since then, it has undergone two major renovations; the latest one, for the World Cup, was completed in February 2018.
Architecture and location
The deﬁning feature of this stadium is its facade, which may be the only part still preserved from the original 1957 construction. The magniﬁcent Soviet neoclassical entrance, topped by a hammer and sickle, supports a giant steel cylindrical structure that rises far above the facade itself.
For the World Cup, additional temporary seating has been set up outside the stadium, making room for spectators who will have a bird’s eye (if long-distance) view of the action on the ﬁeld. Once the games are over, the extra seating will be taken down, reducing the capacity from 35,696 to 23,000.
By public transportation: The arena is located relatively centrally in the city. The closest metro station is Ploshchad 1905 Goda, from which you can either walk (25 minutes) or take a bus or marshrutka (minibus). Marshrutka 19 stops right in front of the metro; bus 2 and trolleybuses 3, 7 and 17 stop just a few meters away, at Ploshchad Malysheva.