June 26, 2021

Soccer Takes Over St. Petersburg


Soccer Takes Over St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg has dusted off its decorative soccer balls from the FIFA World Cup held in Russia in 2018. Wikimedia Commons user A. Scott Fulkerson

If you have not noticed that Russia is hosting one leg of the month-long European soccer championship... you're probably an American, who statistically does not watch adult soccer.

St. Petersburg is currently one of 11 cities forgetting that COVID-19 is a thing and hosting gobs of foreigners.

The tournament, called UEFA Euro 2020, even though it is happening in 2021, began on June 11 and continues for one month.

The cool new St. Petersburg soccer stadium on trendy Krestovsky Island is alternately called Zenit Stadium, Krestovsky Stadium, The Spaceship, Saint Petersburg Stadium, and Gazprom Arena. The official name is Gazprom Arena. It opened in 2017 and held 56,196 fans in the Before Time. It has a sweet, retractable roof.

UEFA fans could enter Russia without a visa.

Budapest, Hungary, is the only UEFA 2020 city to allow players to perform in front of capacity crowds. St. Petersburg's Gazprom Arena is open to about 50% capacity. The city has four fan zones: Konyushennaya Square, Yubileiny Sports Complex, Palace Square, and Nikolskie Ryadi.

Meanwhile, Moscow is tightening pandemic restrictions as cases are skyrocketing. Though Moscow is not part of the UEFA tournament, it did have a fan zone, which is now closed. With similar concerns over rising COVID cases, St. Petersburg decided to cap capacity in fan zones and stop selling food inside.

Seven matches in the tournament are being held in the Northern Capital. The last one is a quarterfinal on July 2.

Peter the Great would be proud: even after all this time, Europe calls the city Peter built from a swamp "The Window to Europe."

You Might Also Like

The World Cup Whirlwind Begins
  • June 14, 2018

The World Cup Whirlwind Begins

Is it football or soccer? Either way, TWERF prepares for the start of the World Cup by examining Russia’s chances (not great), while still paying attention to a few other stories before the madness begins.
Lost Game, but Newfound Pride
  • July 12, 2018

Lost Game, but Newfound Pride

What’s out of this world? Russia’s performance in the World Cup, a Russian cargo ship, and showers in Samara!
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955