How to visit a Zenit Saint Petersburg game

Anybody who is remotely interested in football knows, Zenit Saint Petersburg has a very strong team and is working hard to become a more consistent European force. No matter the reason of your visit to Saint Petersburg  it might be a cool idea to combine it with a visit to the Saint Petersburg stadium to watch a game of Zenit.

History

Saint Petersburg is not only the cultural capital of Russia. It’s also the place where the first Russian football league was organised.  

In the year 1901, a  man by the name of John Richardson took the initiative to organise the first Russian football league. Mr. Richardson, an Englishman, was employed as a mechanic in the local textile industry. Together with some other people he was one of the founders of sports club Nevsky, where they played cricket, football and tennis.

The name Zenit came about in the early thirties of the twentieth century.

The Saint Petersburg stadium, a.k.a. the Zenit Arena

The building of this stadium has been controversial, to say the least. It has taken forever to finish and, according to some estimates is now the most expensive stadium in the world. But now that the stadium is fully operative I think slowly people start to appreciate it. 

Excursions to the stadium

After the world championships of 2018, the municipality wants to start organising excursions to the stadion

How do to buy tickets for a Zenit game?


E-tickets 

This is actually quite easy. The club has a webshop, which is also available in English. On this page you go to ‘tickets’ on the top left and select the fixture and the ticket you want to buy for it.

Tickets for fixtures from Zenit at the club’s website, the screenshot links straight to the club’s site.

You don’t need to become a member of the club, nor do you need to show you ID in order to buy tickets. One person can buy no more than 5 tickets for one fixture.
You should be wary of swindle. Zenit Tickets for Zenit are only sold by the club itself. If you buy them anywhere else you are at a risk of buying fake tickets. Don’t buy a pig in poke.

Print it out!

Once you have bought your e-ticket, you do need to print it out before you go to the stadium! At the moment you can’t just show the e-ticket on your phone and be allowed to enter the stadium. This is Russia and they love paper. I suppose this will change some day, but at the moment it’s like this. If you don’t have a printer, you could go to one of the many copyshops in the city. This is one of the biggest ones, in the very center of Saint Petersburg, at Vosstania Square. Alternatively you could go to Zenit’s client office and get an official printout from them there.

Zenit’s client office

The printout from the Client Office is not better than the one from the copyshop. But maybe you’d like to keep this official printout as a souvenir. You can turn to the Client Office for a printout up til three days before the game.

The Client office is located at 16, Pr. Dobrolybova, Bldg. 2, lit. A, St. Petersburg. Since copying and pasting Russian addresses doesn’t always work smoothly, here is a link to google maps.

If you don’t want to have to deal with e-tickets

You can also directly buy an old-fashioned paper ticket at the following places:

For an up to date list of all points of sale, check this page on the club’s website (page is in Russian only).

Fake tickets

Only buy tickets for Zenit through the official channels. You have more than enough options to buy tickets officially anyway.
If somebody offers you a ticket elsewhere, it will probably much more expensive. Or worse, it might not be a real ticket. It’s of course easy to make many prints of an e-ticket. And apparently some people buy that. Don’t be one of those people.

Discount Codes

There is a special page on Zenit’s website where you can enter promotional codes. Now you probably want to know where you can get such a code… During certain games flyers with these codes on them are handed out to the public. Obviously promotional codes are normally given away for the less popular games.

Tickets are even given away entirely for free in certain cases. Some angry criticasters believe that Zenit gives the tickets away for free to make the stadium look less empty.

According to the club, the free tickets are meant for 2 different categories of visitors:

  1. Loyal supporters of the club, who showed up during an earlier much
  2. Tickets for the economically disadvantaged, for example for children who live in orphanages.

Of course it is true that the new stadium, with 56 196 seats has a much larger capacity than the Petrovsky stadium (the former stadium), which only had 20 985 seats. Games in the new stadium have already attracted an average of 43904 visitors however. Between 2000 and 5000 of these tickets per game were given away for free. Altogether the revenue from ticket sales has substantially increased since the move to the new stadium. And the club is determined to make it increase further.

As I’m writing this article, the Fifa World Cup is still going on. During the tournament the stadium has a capacity of 64 468 seats.

Only after the tournament is finished, will it really become Zenit’s home turf. After the tournament the number of seats will be decreased, which will make space for creating  executive boxes and lounges. This will further increase the club’s revenue from ticket sales.

If the game is postponed

According to the club’s website, visitors have to check for themselves if a games hasn’t gotten postponed. This information can be read on the club’s website and will be broadcasted on radio Zenit.

Radio Zenit’s website, the image is also a link.

Radio Zenit broadcasts in Russian only though.

You you can exchange the tickets for money back at the Client Office, up to 2 hours before the starts of the game. According to the club’s rules, people with tickets to a game, which has been postponed are not entitled to receive compensation for other costs than the price of the tickets.

You can’t make it to the game and want to return your ticket

Too bad.
You can return e-tickets at Zenit’s Client Office. Old fashioned paper tickets can be returned at the same place where you bought them.

What is the best way to go to the stadium

By metro

To make the new stadium more easily reachable during the World Cup a new metro station has been opened: Novokrestovskaya. This station, which is located on the green line is located only 200 meters from the stadium. Read my blog post on how to use the metro in Saint Petersburg, if you haven’t done so yet.

If you prefer to take a small walk before you getto the stadium you can also travel to the Krestovsky Ostrov metro station, which is located on the purple line. From there it’s about a 2 kilometer walk to the stadium. Quite a nice walk actually, through the Primorsky Pobedy Park.

The path from the Primorsky Pobedy Park towards the stadium

By bus

Before the World Cup there were free buses taking visitors from the metro to the stadium. But, now that the Novokrestovskaya station has opened, I suppose this will no longer be necessary. It still remains to be seen how this will be arranged after the World Cup.

By car

I don’t recommend going to the station by your own car. It’s not allowed to park your car near the stadium on match days. Taking a taxi, which will drop you off near the stadium might be comfortable though.

Taking your kids to the stadium

Children up till 7 years old are allowed to enter the stadium free of charge, provided they don’t take use a seat. So they will have to sit on your lap. Or if you’re really slim, you might fit in one chair together.

If your kid is not so small anymore, this might be annoying for the person sitting next to you in the stadium. In this case it might be preferable to just buy a ticket for your kid and let him sit next to you in its own chair.

Safety

Zenit has its own security service. It consists of stewards, whose job it is to look after the safety during the game.

Away games

For away games one person can only buy one ticket (unlike 5 per person for home matches). The stewards safety service also accompany them during away matches.

Conclusion

I hope this article has provided you with the information you were looking for. Would you also like to visit a Zenit game? Which one? Leave your comment below.

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