Stadium construction in the heart of a Russian winter

Can you play football in winter when there is frost and snow on the ground and you really do not want to go outside? Can you build football stadiums where fans will be comfortable both in summer and winter? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding ‘yes’.

Winter in Russia this year turned out to be especially cold. Astonishingly the amount of snow in Moscow this winter broke 50-year old records and Ekaterinburg has seen 13 per cent more snow this year than last year.

Even though spring has arrived and April is just around the corner, the temperature is yet to rise above 0ºC. Nevertheless, work is forging ahead at all future 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ stadiums without exception. Construction was not even put on hold in the depths of winter.

As you can see from the photos the snow covered the stadium construction sites in several Host Cities but even despite this, the workers can still build World Cup stadiums!

In fact, the quantity of workers and machinery on the construction sites actually increased during the winter. The quantity of employees or equipment at the stadiums depends on the volume of work that needs to be completed according to the schedule, and the time of year is not a determining factor, the construction companies have said. spoke to Yevgeniya Novosad, the official spokesperson for Stroytransgaz – the contracting company working on the arenas in Nizhny Novgorod and Volgograd. “850 people and 57 items of machinery were employed at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium construction site in December. This figure increased to 1000 people and 62 items of machinery in January, while in February it was 1050 and 65 respectively”, Yevgeniya explained. “In Volgograd, the number of workers employed during the winter months increased almost threefold from 407 to 1100”.

But is it harder to work with building materials at low temperatures? “Electric-curing technologies that change the chemical make-up of cement were used during the in-situ concrete laying at the venues. Specially certified plasticising and anti-freeze compounds were added during this process to increase the cement's durability,” continued Novosad.

As for the type of work underway at the stadiums, it's mainly concrete laying and excavation. Most of the stadium's ground level and almost half of the second tiers were erected over the winter in Nizhny Novgorod, while building began on the second tier and the stands in Volgograd over this period. In Ekaterinburg they have started to assemble the metal framework that forms part of the support-system for the stadium's roof, which will cover every seat.

With the onset of spring, construction at the Russia 2018 stadiums is expected to press on with renewed vigour!