Sports in Kazan

Kazan is known as the sports capital of Russia. Nowadays it is one of the most developed cities in Russia in terms of sport. The city has hosted international and European competitions in weightlifting, ice hockey, figure skating, boxing, swimming and fencing, among a long list of disciplines. At the same time it is a leader in terms of winnings in various sports including its most popular sports teams.

The city has hosted two Bandy World Championships, in 2005 and 2011, the World Summer Universiade 2013, the World Championship in fencing in 2014, the Aquatics Championship FINA 2015, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2018 FIFA World Cup, and other international competitions of various levels.

Most memorably, the city hosted the 2013 Summer Universiade, officially known as the XXVII Summer Universiade. It was the first Universiade, and even more, the first high-profile multi-sport event in the history of modern Russia.

City officials say that hosting the Universiade — world student games — was a major milestone that considerably boosted the development of sports infrastructure. 64 sports venues, 30 of which are newly constructed, were used during the Games. The biggest objects constructed for the competitions are:

  1. The Kazan Arena. The stadium is without a doubt the center of attention — with 5 stars from FIFA, having gone through the «fire» of the Universiade, the «water» of the FINA Championship, and the «mill» of soccer fans, it delicately decorates the cityscape with a smooth water lily shape.
  2. Aquatics Palace. The Palace was one of the most important sites for the summer Universiade 2013, and now its facilities are used for a wide variety of competitions, as well as for training sessions in swimming, synchronized swimming, and both springboard and platform diving.
  3. One of the pioneers in the «Universiade venues» concept is the Kazan Tennis Academy. It is one of the largest modern tennis centers in Europe. The center grounds include 26 tennis courts (18 outdoors and 8 indoors), which can be transformed into competition arenas or leased for informal games.
  4. The Rowing Sports Center is situated on a picturesque shore of Sredniy Kaban lake. National rowing competitions are regularly organized here, and rowing and canoeing are popular among students. The center hosted the World Rowing and Canoeing Championships in 2012, the Universiade competitions in 2013, and the FINA World Championships open water races in 2015.
  5. At the foot of the famous Kazan Millennium bridge is a very well-equipped multipurpose Ak Bars wrestling arena. It now serves as a platform for a specialized Olympic Reserve youth sports school, which offers a wide variety of combat sports: judo, karate, aikido, sambo, Greco-Roman, freestyle, and «koresh» wrestling, as well as taekwondo and kendo.

During the XXVII Summer Universiade over 10,400 university athletes from 162 countries participated in 13 mandatory and 14 optional sports. The mission was to gather young athletes from all over the world in the city of unique multiethnic heritage. To continue Russian sport traditions, to become a launch pad for future generations of athletes. To make the life of Kazan citizens more diverse, interesting and convenient. To give Kazan citizens of all ages a possibility to play any kind of sport they like, to live a healthy life.

FINA World Championships were held in Kazan on July 24-August 9, 2015. The event brought together 2,413 athletes (1,152 men and 1,261 women) and 1,495 officials representing up to 190 nations. A record number of medal events (75) were contested across six aquatic disciplines at the World Championships in Kazan.

In June-July 2018 Kazan hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia matches alongside with other 11 host cities. The Kazan Arena Stadium played stage to the matches. It was the first football stadium in Russia constructed in the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

In 2019, Kazan hosted the next stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The organizers attracted the attention of the audience by organizing a show of aerial acrobatics, freestyle motocross and tricks on flyboards and wakeboards.

In the future the city will hold the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games.