- Address: St. Petersburg
- Country: Russia
- Capacity: 67,000
- Opened: 22 April 2017
- Main use: Football
- Tenants: Zenit (football)
Extra stadium info – Gazprom Arena
The construction of the stadium, which has a retractable roof, started in 2007. The Gazprom Arena is named after a Russian multinational energy corporation headquartered in St. Petersburg. Gazprom became the largest Russian company by revenue. Zenit use the Gazprom Arena for home games. The club became one of the first football clubs with a value of at least $100 million. It is known as the first Russian sports club with 1 million followers on its main social media page. Zenit won the top-flight league of Russia several times. In 2008, they won the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. Zenit drew an average home attendance of 20,000 in 15 domestic league games during that football season.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup
The Gazprom Arena hosted several matches for the FIFA World Cup in 2018. The first-ever FIFA World Cup match at the venue was won by the national football team of Iran after beating Morocco in front of 62,000 spectators. In the second game, Egypt was defeated by Russia. Brazil won the third match against Costa Rica and the Argentine Republic won the fourth match against Nigeria. The fifth match was won by Sweden after beating the Swiss Confederation and the French Republic defeated Belgium in the sixth game. Belgium finished third place at the Gazprom Arena after defeating England in front of 64,000 fans.
John Obi Mikel
On 26 June 2018, the Gazprom Arena hosted the FIFA World Cup game between Nigeria and the Argentine Republic. John Obi Mikel, who played numerous matches for the world famous English side Chelsea Football Club, played for Nigeria that day. Hours before the football match, he was told that his father had been kidnapped and would be killed if he reported anything.
John Obi Mikel, who was the captain of the national football team of Nigeria, received the shocking news of the kidnapping as he travelled on the team bus to the stadium in St. Petersburg. A family member called him and told him that he had to call the kidnappers on a designated number. When John Obi Mikel did so, he was ordered to pay a ransom. His father was abducted in Nigeria when he travelled to a funeral. The police in Nigeria were able to secure his release after a gunfight. The father was tortured and he received emergency treatment in a hospital.