By Tom Degun

Rostov-on-Don StadiumDecember 11 - Architecture firm Populous, who created the London 2012 Olympic Stadium in Stratford, has won the contract to design the Rostov-on-Don Stadium in Russia, which is one of twelve venues that will be used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Stadium located near the Sea of Azov becomes the fourth Russia 2018 venue to be designed by Populous, which has also worked on the arenas in Kazan, Saransk and Sochi.

Populous said the venue design is inspired by "the ancient earthworks along the banks of the river, the Kurgans."

"These archaeological mounds of earth were used for burial pagan rituals, creating major forms in the landscape."

Built to boast sustainable credentials, the venue will have a capacity of 45,000 seats during the World Cup but will be scaled down to 25,000 seats after the tournament in line with legacy plans for the tournament.

It is another major coup for Populous, who as well as London 2012 has also worked on South Africa's Soccer City 2010 World Cup Stadium the Sochi 2014 Olympic Stadium.

"It's been a pleasure to work with Intex, the city and the governor of Rostov-on-Don to promote the project," said the principal at Populous Damon Lavelle.

"After our experience on the World Cup in 2010 and London 2012, we are certain that the stadium will be a great catalyst for the city and this part of the river."

The Rostov-on-Don Stadium is one of four venues due to enter the design phase by the end of this year, the others being in Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Volgograd.

As it stands, new stadiums in Kazan, Saint Petersburg, Saransk, Sochi, and Moscow are currently under construction, while the remaining three stadium projects will be launched in early 2013.

The Russian Government recently allocated one billion roubles (£20 million/$32.2 million/€24.7 million) for the commencement of the design work.

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