Why aren’t Russian World Cup venues spread proportionately?

an outline map of Russia showing 2018 World Cup stadiums and major airports near each one

3 Answers

This is due to the population density of Russia. It makes sense that the World Cup matches are taking place in the most inhabited parts of the country rather than in rural regions. The map below shows the number of people per squared kilometers in federal subjects of Russia:

Population density of Russia

Source: Wikipedia article on the population density of Russian subjects (In Russian).

The same thing happened during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Most of the World Cup matches were played in the densely inhabited coastal regions of Brazil rather than much less inhabited Amazon basin. Here is the map of Brazilian states by population density (number of people per sq.km.):

Population density of Brazil

Source: Wikipedia article on the population density of Brazilian states.

And here is the location of the stadiums during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. As you can see the location of the sporting venues pretty much corresponds to the population density of the country:

Brazil World Cup stadiums

Source: Wikipedia article on FIFA 2014 World Cup

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