Millennium Post

World Cup: Roller coaster of emotions awaits football fans in St Petersburg

Football fans can go on a roller coaster ride at their World Cup games in St. Petersburg, and that's even before kickoff. An array of actual white-knuckle rides stand in the amusement park close to the stadium on a pre-match walk from the Metro station.

Emerging from Krestovsky Ostrov station on the No. 5 metro line, fans can see the spaceship-like stadium more than 1 kilometer (1,100 yards) away through the tree-lined path in the landscaped Primorskiy Victory Park.

Step into the park and fans must first walk past the fairground attraction known as Divo Ostrov or "Wonder Island."

"It's crazy, isn't it?" said Warren Livingstone of Sydney, admiring a stunning approach to the stadium ahead of Australia's game against Cameroon. "It's a bit like Wembley Way (in London). The Olympic stadium in Sydney has a bit of a build-up but nothing like this."

The theme park option was unknown to most Australia fans arriving at the Confederations Cup.

By next year, it could be on the to-do list for fans who arrive an hour earlier for their World Cup game and are tempted to see the stadium from high on a rollercoaster, sling shot or parachute ride.

St. Petersburg will stage seven matches next year and three have 9 p.m. local time kickoffs, including a semifinal.

"It could be popular if they put into the itinerary," said Fulvio Prainito of Perth, Australia.

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