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

22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
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 Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
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.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
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.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.

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.

Latest Posts


Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955