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Official Review by Ilya Sokolov, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Arena Khimki opened in 2008. It was built as a home stadium for FC Khimki. When the club was relegated from the Russian Premier League, it moved to a much smaller Rodina Stadium, while Arena Khimki was occupied by two homeless clubs: Dynamo Moscow and CSKA Moscow.
The stadium holds 18,636 spectators. It was the first stadium in Russia using SGL technology, which allows grass to get all the necessary nutrients. Despite that, several times the stadium could not host games because of the pitch conditions.
Dynamo Moscow has been playing at Arena Khimki since 2008 as their own stadium has been undergoing reconstruction. They plan to move to the new stadium in 2017.
Arena Khimki also hosted several national team games. The Russian Football Union was criticized for choosing this stadium, as even Muscovites find it hard to get there and the atmosphere is usually far from ideal.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The stadium has a pretty good selection of food and beverages. There are different types of sandwiches, panini, potato chips, and crackers. Coffee and tea are relatively cheap. There is also hot corn ($2) and popcorn available. Be prepared for queues, as the concessions are always crowded.
The stadium is pretty compact and cozy. Open corners make Arena Khimki a frigid place to watch football, especially in December when you will have no choice but to stand.
The stadium is quite small, so it doesn't matter whether you choose upper or lower deck. Choose where you like to sit and you will have a good view of the pitch. The seats behind the goals are for ultras. Some seats in the central stands may also be occupied by active fans, so be careful and check the information on the tickets on Dynamo's official site before buying.
The show is quite modest. You'll hear the White Stripes and "Seven Nation Army" blare over the speakers after every Dynamo goal. The scoreboard graphics look outdated.
The stadium is located in Khimki, a city in the Moscow metropolitan area situated just northwest of the national capital city. There is nothing to do in the immediate vicinity besides watching football or basketball.
The best place to spend some time before the game is the Kapitoliy shopping center, which is just a seven minute walk from Arena Khimki. There are a lot of restaurants and cafes in Kapitoliy, and my favorite is Beverly Hills Diner. For Russian food lovers I would recommend Mu-Mu.
There is a good basketball team in Khimki. It is considered to be one of the strongest in Europe. You can try to combine football and Euroleague or VTB League matches.
There are few lodging options near the stadium. Concept Hotel is the best choice, as it is comfortable and close to the arena.
Dynamo has the smallest fan base among the four biggest Moscow clubs due to a lack of positive results in the last 50 years. Combined with the inconvenient location, this leads to one of the lowest attendance in the league. However, as the stadium is quite compact, a sell-out is not required for a good atmosphere. Dynamo fans support their team throughout the match using all attributes, which is common for Russian ultras.
Khimki is a town located right on the border with Moscow, but despite this, it takes unacceptably long time to get there from the Russian capital.
There are two ways to reach the stadium using public transportation, and it is quite hard to determine which one is worse. One way is to take "elektrichka" (suburban electric train) from Leningradskiy railway station to Khimki and walk about 10 minutes from the station. It is relatively fast, but you'll have to share a train with crazy Dynamo ultras. Also worth noting that if Dynamo plays against a team from Moscow, these trains can be simply canceled to avoid unpleasant incidents.
It is also possible to get there via "marshrutka" (minibus) №345 from the metro station "Rechnoy Vokzal," but it would be difficult to predict the exact travel time, as there are constant traffic jams in these areas. It is desirable to leave from Moscow at least two and a half hours before the start of the game.
If you go there by car (I don't recommend this option), the most convenient parking is located near the hypermarket Kapitoliy. It is free and they always have open parking spaces.
Get ready to be examined like nowhere else, as the security may be not very pleasant. Sometimes they demand to take off outer clothing.
Arena Khimki is crowded before, during and after the game no matter how many spectators came there to watch football. There is simply not enough space both inside and outside.
Tickets are the cheapest comparing to other teams from Moscow. The seats in the so-called VIP sector (which is equal to usual central stands) cost no more than 1500 rubles ($21). I would recommend buying these tickets to avoid a view spoiled by glass fences.
You are unlikely to spend more than 300 rubles (about $4) on food. If you stay in Moscow and want to save some money, just don't use a taxi, as it will cost you more than the tickets.
To enjoy the visit you need to purchase retro style merchandise in the kiosks near the stadium. These also are affordable and will be a good souvenir from your visit.
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Pravoberezhnaya ulitsa, 1b
Khimki, Russia 125445
+7 495 771-70-61
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Leningradskaya ul., 1
Kihmki, Moscow Oblast 141400
+7 495 735-49-75