Forgotten World Cup stadium where 34k saw England 'sinks into SWAMP after being handed to minnows who can't fill stands' | The Sun

A ONCE impressive stadium that hosted the 2018 World Cup has been relegated to lower league games after appearing to sink into a swamp.

The £225 million Kaliningrad Stadium hosted four games that year, including England's match against Belgium watched by 34,000 fans.

Now the Rostec Arena has been demoted to playing host to games for FC Baltika, a lower-division Russian side whose games usually attract only a few thousand fans.

Known as Kaliningrad Stadium, the once impressive Rostec Arena proved problematic in the run up to Fifa's tournament in 2018.

Made completely from scratch for the competition, it was finished just under the wire in March 2018 – months before the first match.

A financial scandal later led to the company responsible for it's design declaring bankruptcy, forcing the government to step in.


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The federal government then allocated over £330 million for it's renovation.

Built on Oktyabrsky Island, a stretch of land in between two parts of the Pregola river, the 35-000 seat stadium was built on on soggy wetlands.

The swamp-like foundations proved difficult when just a year after the World Cup games, it appeared to start sinking into the ground.

Built on wetlands where no similar construction had been shored up before, designers were supposed to secure the foundation with sand.

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They allegedly skimped on such preparations while over charging on the work, authorities said.

This led to multiple arrests, including that of a senior local official who is reportedly now on trial.

The dodgy foundations caused bulging brickwork, collapsing structures and sewage problems.

In September 2019, almost 32,000 fans packed out the stadium once again to watch Russia take on Kazakhstan for the Euro 2020 qualifier.

Despite Russia's win, a prominent sports journalist voiced their shock at the state of the stadium – completed just over a year prior.

Concerns were raised as a result over the reliability of the structure, the risk of flooding and the sewage and drainage systems.

The seating capacity of almost 40,000 was then cut to just 25,000 before it was handed over to the Baltika football club, who had just 4,000 spectators attending matches in 2017.

The two-tier stadium, which was designed originally with the latest security systems and CCTV, was originally based on the design of the Allianz Arena.

Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave, is squeezed between Lithuania and Poland and the stadium is just 45 kilometers from Poland's border.

It is a heavily fortified area in Putin's motherland, home to numerous defensive walls, forts and gates and was once of the most heavily militarised parts of the Soviet Union.

It's not the only stadium that once played host to some impressive matches and now sits neglected.

The Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan has, however, fared worse than the Rostec Arena as it now sits eerily abandoned.

After hosting the 1987 WrestleMania, the Super Bowl XVI and part of the 1994 Fifa World Cup, creepy pictures now show the arena descending into disrepair.


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And the Vicente Calderon Stadium, once the home of Atletico Madrid, is now set to be turned into a park.

Despite being used for the club's games for over 50 years, it hasn't been used since 2017 and has now been reduced to rubble.

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