St. Petersburg can arguably be called the cradle of Russian football. It was in St. Petersburg that the first documented football game in the Russian history took place on October 24, 1897. Four years later, the city organized the first Russian football league, which lasted for more than two decades. Today the city's Zenit club is one of the top football clubs in Russia.
In 2017, the St. Petersburg Stadium hosted the opening and closing games as well as two group stage games of the Confederations Cup. The arena became the most visited stadium during the championship, with a total of almost 200,000 spectators.
The city will host some of the most important games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including a semifinal and the bronze medal match. A new stadium is under construction in St. Petersburg ahead of the World Cup. It will meet the highest modern standards and take in 69,000 people.