FROM THE «STADIUM CENTRAL» BEFORE «EKATERINBURG ARENA»
The Central Stadium* was built in 1957, but the sport fame of this historic place in Ekaterinburg has more than a hundred years. The starting point was the 1900, when a merchant Kamaletdin Agafurov sponsored the construction of velodrome near Moscow highway. Ten years after the opening there were three football fields, the same number of grounds for lawn tennis and special areas for golf croquet on the velodrome.
*Historical name of the main stadium of Yekaterinburg
Since 1913 football came into fashion. The matches of Ekaterinburg championship were initiated.
Football match in Ekaterinburg, 1915.
In 1928, Regional Lenin Stadium was opened at this site. It had a football field, running track and wooden stands for 5,000 people. As such, the sports complex has existed for almost 30 years. In 1936, the stadium was transferred to the regional Voluntary Sports Society (VSS) "Metallurgist of the East", bearing the same name.
In the early 1950s, a necessity of more capacious stadium appeared. The official reason for the demolition of the old arena was the conclusion of the fire service - wooden stands did not meet fire safety requirements.
Construction began in 1953, and in 1957 a new stadium named "Central" was opened. The stadium complex had spacious grandstands located on the western and eastern sides, the athletics tracks, a minor arena, athletics and gymnastic halls, a field for grass hockey, tennis courts, basketball and volleyball grounds, cafe, bar, hotel.
Football match at the Central Stadium, 1963.
After the commissioning the Central Stadium has become an attraction placement for the largest and most significant events. It also entered the top ten list of sports facilities in the Soviet Union. The sportsmen in athletics, speed skating, hockey, football, motorcycle races competed here.
The international "Russian hockey" match between the USSR and Norway, 1965.
During the decades the sports complex hosted thousands of sports and entertainment events, including four Winter Spartakiads of the Peoples of the USSR, Speed Skating 1959 World Allround Championship Women, and other Soviet Union and international competitions.
IV Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR, 1978.
A new stage in the history of the country, changes in the economy, rapidly developing technologies could not help affecting the major sports facility of the Urals capital. In 2004 the development of the program of the sports complex reconstruction began, and in the 3d quarter of 2006 the Central Stadium was closed for renovation.
One of the strategic tasks of the reconstruction project was an adaptation of the Central Stadium as the historical and cultural monument to the modern use. Consequently the decision was to preserve the image of the object due to the restoration of the exterior walls, sculptures and external fence.
In the early 1950s, there is a need of building more capacious stadium, the official reason for the demolition of the old arena was the conclusion of Fire Department — wooden bleachers did not meet fire safety requirements.
Construction began in 1953, and in 1957 opened a new stadium, called the « Central ». The complex has spacious stadium grandstand located on the west and east, the athletics track, a small sports arena, athletics and gymnastic halls, playing field for field hockey, tennis, basketball, volleyball court, cafe, bar, hotel.
After the commissioning of the Central Stadium has become a point of attraction of the largest and most significant events and entered the top ten sports facilities of the Soviet Union. Here, for the title of the strongest athletes competed in athletics, speed skating, hockey, football, motorcycle races.
The Facade of the East Stand
The opening of the renovated Central Stadium was held at the City Day celebration on August 19, 2011.
After the opening the main stadium became the home stadium for football club Ural again. In May 2012 the Central Stadium hosted the final match of the Russian Cup between Dynamo Moscow and Rubin Kazan.
The Russian Cup, 2012.
The match was attended by 26,700 spectators, which was the highest attendance for the finals of the Russian Cup in the past five seasons. Meanwhile the allocated quota of 13 thousand tickets for Ekaterinburg was sold out in two days. After the match, the head coach of the winners Kurban Berdyev commented on the level of the event’s organization:
"The last Ekaterinburg finals have proved that the decisive matches of the National Cup should be organized outside of the capital. Everyone saw what a great atmosphere was at the stadium today. The result was a real football feast!"
In July 2012, it was decided that the final matches of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualifying round the youth Russian national team will be played against Poland and Moldova in Ekaterinburg. The match between the youth teams of Russia and Poland was held on September 6, and gathered 17,500 spectators.
The youth Russian team in the field of the Central Stadium
At a press conference after the match, the head coach of the youth Russian team Nikolaj Pisarev thanked the Ural fans for their support:
"We did not regret that matches are held in Ekaterinburg. We came here especially for the support of the fans. The stadium was full, which is not typical for Moscow. You've seen the fans inspiring us, cheering us up, and driving forward. Fans are justly called the twelfth player and today it was so. I hope that Ekaterinburg is a lucky city for us."
On the 10th of September the match against Moldova gathered 12,000 spectators. As a result of these two matches Russia won the first place in the group and ensured its participation in the play-offs for the European Championship. Nikolaj Pisarev paid tribute to Ekaterinburg fans and expressed the desire to participate in home play-off at the Central Stadium in Ekaterinburg.
The return match of the youth Russian team, scheduled for the 16th of October, was also held there. The result of the game, attracted 20,000 spectators, became the draw. The Russian team played with the team from the Czech Republic with a score of 2:2 and as a result of two marches it was selected for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.
The "lucky" stadium
In addition to the Big football the Central Stadium regularly hosted athletics competitions of the city and regional levels. In 2012 and 2013 the Central Stadium was among the participants of the international action "the Night of Museums", so the visitors could not only get acquainted with the exhibits of the Museum of the sport’s history, which is located in the sports complex, but also take part in various sports workshops.
The Night of Museums, 2014
In December, 2013 the Central Stadium was chosen as the site for the House of the Russian Olympic team in Ekaterinburg, which is a unique exposition dedicated to winter sports of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.
The project of reconstruction of the stadium for the World Cup the FIFA 2018™
In September 2012 Ekaterinburg was officially approved as the city hosting the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, so the stadium is among the facilities of the Championship sports infrastructure.
Within the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ the stadium will get a new name - "Ekaterinburg Arena."