VEB Arena is 4 years old!
On 10 September 2016, the first official match took place at our home stadium, VEB Arena. pfc-cska.com recalls how it was.
Red-Blues won 3-0 due to Lacina Traore double and goal by Carlos Strandberg.
Many fans were waiting for the Red-Blue home opening, so all tickets were sold out a few days before the match. Fans who came earlier had been able to watch the colorful ceremony before the match started.
The performance had started 45 minutes before the kickoff. The first to enter the pitch was the Rimsky-Korsakov Central Concert Orchestra of the Russian Navy, which performed music for every taste, from modern hits to the fan-favorite «For CSKA, for the Homeland, for faith!». Then military music school students and CSKA equestrian club representatives rode horses along the paths of the new arena. Guardsmen with tricolor proudly rode past the stands to the sound of the orchestra.
A great gift for the fans was the performance of the famous singer Polina Gagarina. Almost the entire stadium sang with her one of the main hits of the Kino band — "Kukushka". At the same time, three Army Men generations appeared on the pitch— young Red-Blues alumni, football players and veterans. The fans lighted their lanterns, which were distributed to everyone before entering the sectors — everything looked impressive. A five-minute fireworks ended the ceremony to a standing ovation.
Just before the beginning of the match, Anastasia Perkhun, daughter of PFC CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Perkhun, who died in 2001, came out onto the lawn. She performed the Russian national anthem. The players of the first Army Men team appeared on the field with their children.
The first symbolic kick of the ball was made by Vladimir Ponomarev, a famous Soviet football player and a World Cup bronze medalist in 1966, who played for PFC CSKA from 1962 to 1969.
However, the match with Terek was not the first for the stadium. On 4 September 2016, a friendly match between PFC CSKA and Torpedo took place at the new arena, it ended with a 3-0 Army Men victory. Astemir Gordyushenko scored the very first goal at the VEB Arena.
Graffiti is painted on the stairwells under the stands. On the side of the stand A, where the most active fans are, there are drawings of red and blue ships and fans with PFC CSKA stuff.
Other stands have portraits of important for PFC CSKA players and coaches, including goalkeepers Perkhun and Eremin, well-known former club forwards Grigory and Vladimir Fedotov, defenders Vasiliy and Aleksey Berezutskiy, a living legend of the club, captain Igor Akinfeev, the best legionary scorer in the club's history, Brazilian Vagner Love, and others.