eIn June of this year, as the World Cup in Russia was in full swing, a video was posted on Youtube. On it can be seen a cheerful young man, with a beer can in his hand in the center of Moscow on two policemen goes to them and cheers them and asks them if he will probably drink at the end of the World Cup in the street. "Are you Russian?" The police ask, and when he says yes, they say, "Not then."
During the World Cup, Russia, along with football fans from all over the world, had fallen into a kind of intoxication that overruled the otherwise valid rules: on the escalators of the Moscow metro, which are rarely talked about, South Americans roared into their cell phone cameras Lawns at the foot of the Kremlin, which are strictly forbidden to enter, picnicked groups of men with beer and chips. All this disappeared with the tourists, in Moscow peace and discipline have arrived.
But the intoxication had another component. The Russians, whose enthusiasm for football kept within tight limits until the World Cup, were suddenly inflamed fiercely for their "Sbornaja", which surprisingly reached the quarter-finals. After the victory over Spain in the round of the last sixteen, exuberant fans spontaneously celebrated on Red Square, something that almost never happens in Russia, let alone in this place: state-controlled celebrations take place there, such as the military parade on May 9 or the Christmas market , Russia's star striker Artjom Dzjuba, one of the main reasons for the new football enthusiasm, called after the departure of the team on the fan mile: "We have proven that we are just a football country!"
Ascent to the A-League within reach
Was Dzjuba right? Are the fans now pouring into the staggered stadiums to watch their home teams play? The state television cheered in mid-October, when the "Sbornaja" played in the Nations League in Sochi against Turkey, the fans would not have their team "let down" and filled the stadium as in World Cup times: with a good 38,000 spectators. Russia lead their group, which is next to Turkey still Sweden, after three of four games. The promotion to the A-League is within reach before the last group match in Sweden on Tuesday. The game in Leipzig against Germany (20.45 clock / F.A.Z. international match live scores and RTL) should serve as a preparation for this important duel.
But even the first league is still benefiting from the World Cup: The number of visitors has risen this year by a third compared to the past and are on average just under 14,000. The numbers between the clubs vary a lot: to the games of Spartak Moscow came before the World Cup to the 30,000 people, to international games even more. The Erstligaverein FK Rostow, however, attracts even after the World Cup only about 10,000 visitors. It should be even more difficult, where second division clubs in rather small cities should fill stadiums with up to 45,000 seats, for example in Volgograd, Kaliningrad or Saransk.
Sad existence as a second division stadium
So far, the World Cup but also reverberates there: In Volgograd and Saransk about came in August also to the 30,000 spectators. In Russian media, these numbers are explained more with curiosity about the venue than with renewed enthusiasm for the home club – they are expected to fall soon to below 10,000 spectators. That will not be enough to make a stadium profitable.
Good ideas, what else can be done there but football, so far exist on paper. An exception is Kazan, where the first division club Rubin even after the World Cup does not exceed 10,000 spectators. The "Kazan Arena" has become a kind of amusement center with a restaurant, children's play paradise, fitness clubs and a congress hall. In Kaliningrad, on the other hand, the stadium, which has been set for a lot of money on muddy ground, is saddened – as the home ground of second division club Baltika.