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Soccer: Steel for a soccer stadium

The 2018 World Cup in Russia: A steel roof slopes over spectators in the Kazan Arena. This imposing steel structure demonstrates the importance of steel in stadium construction.

The FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. Thousands of spectators will cheer on their teams from the stands of the World Cup stadiums. They’ll be sitting and standing on steel structures as they do so; this material plays a crucial role in football stadium construction.

Photo: Reinaldo Coddou H.

The World Cup will be held at 12 different football stadiums. Russia is reported to have spent nearly 1 billion euros on constructing the new stadium in St. Petersburg – to say nothing of other products. As such, this stadium is likely the most expensive to have ever been built for a World Cup. The largest of the stadiums for this year’s event is in Moscow – Luzhniki Stadium can accommodate 81,000 football fans.

Impressive steel design

Kazan, a metropolis by the Volga and the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan lies some 800 kilometers east of Moscow. Six World Cup matches will be held in the Kazan Stadium. This structure does not just impress soccer fans. The building features an imposingly curved roof made from 12,000 metric tons of steel. It serves as an impressive example of the importance of structural steel to architects in stadium construction.

The roof slopes gently from the center of the main grandstand and the opposite stand to the stands behind the gates, creating shade for up to 45,000 spectators. Normally, the Rubin Kazan team plays here; on 16 June, though, France and Australia will go head to head in this football stadium. The German team will face South Korea here for its final group match.

In the arenas: thyssenkrupp steel

It’s unthinkable to construct and design sport stadiums without steel, as another example of stadium architecture from Germany demonstrates – material from thyssenkrupp in Duisburg was used in the unusual roof construction of the Schalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

Steel also provides for cooling in the form of air ducts in a modern stadium – a rather important feature of the structural design, given the often heated atmosphere when FC Schalke 04 plays in the stadium. Structural steel even serves the football players in the shape of the lockers in the changing rooms. There, the structural steel shapes act as a ‘witness’ to many a trainer’s pep talk.

These kind of halftime talks are also certain to take place under the roof of the Kazan Arena. After the four-match group phase, the round of eight matches will be held here, then the quarter-finals. Then, two more matches will be held there; this spectacular steel construction will host spectacular sporting events.

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