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Official Review by Ilya Sokolov, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Spartak is considered to be the most popular club in the country, but it had been without its home until 2014. Thanks to Spartak’s unpopular owner Leonid Fedun, the fans finally got their stadium.
Otkrytie Arena (also known as Spartak Stadium) is the first fully functioning stadium among all of the FIFA World Cup 2018 arenas. The stadium is quite compact, as its capacity (45,360) is close to FIFA minimum requirements of 40,000.
The stadium has a rhombic red-white cladding, which should remind the visitors of the Spartak logo. A giant statue of the gladiator, who gave the club its name, is placed on the square in front of the stadium.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is a food court for 350 people located in the west side of the arena. A wide range of fast food restaurants allow spectators to choose the type of meal they want - an offer you won't find in other Russian stadiums. On the other hand, problems may arise in case of sell-outs. For example, kiosks ran out of beverages during a 2015 Euro qualifying match, and the only option left was non-alcoholic beer.
Spend your free time before the game behind the northern stand near the sculpture of gladiator, because all of the entertainment takes place there.
As for in-game entertainment, Spartak is definitely the team to watch if the performance of fans is important for you. Average attendance here is around 25,000, but games against CSKA, Lokomotiv or Zenit attract more than 40,000. As the stadium is quite compact, the fan support looks and sounds impressive. Spartak fans occupy both northern and southern stands, and both groups are loud enough to shout down any away fans.
The most important tip is to avoid the seats behind the goals, especially if you are supporting the visiting club. I once supported Lokomotiv among Spartak fans and had no problems doing that apart from some quizzical looks. But to feel comfortable you better buy more expensive tickets and sit among the so-called "kuzmichi" - people who don't support their team actively.
Tushino is located near the city borders. The surroundings are reminiscent of Estádio Nacional de Brasília Mané Garrincha in the Brazilian capital. There is nothing to watch for miles around. The district is just a desert with a stadium as an oasis. The advantage is that the area is absolutely safe, as there are no people there except football fans.
One of the most popular options of spending time before games is McDonalds located near Tushinskaya metro station. There are some other food kiosks near the station, including those selling shawarmas and piroshkis.
Spartak fans look dangerous, but if you are not an active CSKA or Zenit supporter, there is nothing to be afraid of. Pyrotechnic shows are a must-have for a big club from Eastern Europe, but there are no cases of Spartak fans harming anyone sitting in the central stands. In fact, it looks beautiful. If you are lucky enough, before the game you will also see a huge banner created by the ultras.
Otkrytie Arena is located near the "Spartak" subway station, which was reopened especially for easier access to the new stadium. The stadium is also within walking distance from Tushinskaya station.
Parking a car may become a problem. If public transport is not an option, it is wise to park a car near Tushinskaya (for free) and walk a little. Don't forget about the famous Moscow traffic jams and give yourself lots of time.
It should take you anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to get to the stadium from the city center depending on the means of transport you choose.
To watch football from the central stands you should expect to pay from 1000 rubles ($16) for a seat in the corner of the eastern stand (stand C) to 2500 ($40) in case you want to watch football from the center of western stand (stand A). I suggest that you shouldn't choose the seats at the corners, as the view may be spoiled by glass fences. But there is no significant difference between Tribunes A and C except for easier access to the food court from the western stands.
These prices are for games against rivals stated above, so tickets for matches against Amkar, Rostov, or Anzhi are cheaper.
The Red-White store, located in the western stands, is the largest fan store in Eastern Europe and it is definitely worth visiting.
For only $6 dollars you can take a stadium tour and visit the home changing room, dugout, press box and other interesting stadium spots. It is a very worthwhile addition to any visit.
Member Review by benzosaw on Nov 22, 2015
Otkrytie Arena is the first really cool-looking arena in Moscow. I am not a Spartak fan, so I even feel a bit jealous... It reminds me (and, probably, everyone else) of Allianz Arena, which is absolutely beautiful. However, gorgeous stadium doesn't help much, as we can see now, so, maybe there's no reason to worry.
Although the stadium itself is really great, there's definitely room for improvement in entertainment and other extras. I've been to Otkrytie during the game of the National team, and I was not impressed at all. Maybe they care more about amusing Spartak fans, but I had no chance to check that.
Anyway, this problem is quite easy to solve, while the Arena itself must be of high quality from the very begging - and, fortunately, it is!
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