The Ak Bars Arena Stadium is a multi-purpose complex designed to stage football matches, entertainment shows, sporting and cultural events. It is the first football stadium in Russia constructed in the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The venue is the home ground for FC Rubin Kazan.
The architectural concept of Ak Bars Arena was developed by the global architecture firm Populous. It is a round-shaped building composed of 4 levels of open-air stands with a seating capacity of 45,000 spectators and 4 exit areas. Apart from sports facilities, the stadium also includes the media centre, conference halls, skyboxes, restaurant with a panoramic view of the field, food courts, gyms, children’s education and entertainment centres, museums, steward training school, hotel, beauty salon and many other utilities. The stadium features the largest in Europe outdoor HD screen with a total area of 3,700 sq. m.
The stadium owes its multifunctionality to up-to-date technological solutions enabling the football field to transform into a stage for all kinds of events. For example, in 2013 Ak Bars Arena played host to the 27th Summer Universiade Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) were located at the stadium as well. During the FINA World Championships 2015, the stadium served as a competition venue for swimming and synchronised swimming events. For the first time ever two temporary 50-metre-long swimming pools were installed on the pitch.
In the summer of 2014, the stadium was recognised as a category four stadium according to the UEFA Stadium Infrastructure Regulations. Venue zoning has been carried out in compliance with the 5th edition of FIFA Football Stadiums – Technical Recommendation and Requirements. Numerous architectural and engineering solutions applied in the construction of Ak Bars Arena are now implemented in other stadiums, which are currently being built for the upcoming football tournament. Six matches were played at Ak Bars Arena as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, including one round of 16 match and one quarterfinal match. Besides, in the lead-up to the World Cup the Kazan stadium also hosted four FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 matches, one of which was the semifinal match.
Due to its high-performance technologies, the Ak Bars Arena Stadium was repeatedly awarded trophies in the field of sports construction. In 2014, the stadium has become a winner in the Best Regional Office category at the Best Office Awards for one of its VIP skyboxes. In addition, in 2014 the reputed Sport Facilities. Sites and Sports Industry magazine recognised the venue as the Best Stadium of Russia and next year Ak Bars Arena was named the Best Sports Facility in the Technology and Innovation Implementation in Stadium Design and Construction category.