Kazan Arena Stadium in Russia, one of the venues hosting 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, is being converted into a swimming pool for the 16th FINA Swimming World Championships.
Becoming the first ever swimming pool on a football pitch, it will host swimming and synchronised swimming events from 24 July to 9 August during this year’s international event, reports Xinhua.
International governing body for water events, Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), is setting-up two temporary, 50m-long pools on the football pitch. While one of the pools will be used for the competition, the other will be a practice space.
To be set-up by FINA in collaboration with its official pool partner Myrtha Pools, each of the installations will accommodate 11,000 people; however, seating the capacity of the entire football stadium is far greater at 48,000.
The football pitch itself is situated 3m below the bottom of the temporary pools, and can be reached via underground walkways and staircases.
The modifications will also include temporary roofing as a precaution for sudden weather changes.
FINA organising committee secretary general Ranko Tepavcevic was quoted by the Chinese news agency as saying that the idea was proposed by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu.
Tepavcevic said: "It is the first time that a football stadium turns to be swimming pools.
"We will remove the temporary pools and roofs after the swimming worlds.
"The point is that our Kazan Arena Stadium can be a role model for the future usage of the stadiums. I think maybe other cities will learn from our innovation."
Installation work will take one week to complete.
Image: Kazan Arena football stadium. Photo: courtesy of Amar77 / Wikipedia.