Battle over Saransk
Panama seems to be the most adventurous of all participating teams.
They have chosen the town of Saransk as their Team Base Camp. There are not many hotels and only a few are of an international standard. Saransk, with its 300 000 inhabitants, is also hosting four matches during the World Cup, and this is where it becomes difficult for everyone travelling to this relatively small city.
A battle has broken out over hotel rooms in the capital of Mordovia. Khaya had contracted one hotel and sold their rooms within four days after the Final Draw.
Other cities such as Ekaterinburg face similar accommodation challenges. Crowd favorites Mexico and Sweden are meeting there on 27 June and it is difficult to get rooms in this city in the East of Russia.
Khaya’s team has its finger on the pulse and is currently sourcing rooms in newly built hotels, which are not yet available in the market.
A lot of flying for Three Lions
Most of the “big name” teams will play at least one of their matches in Moscow and the others in cities such as Sochi and Kazan which have a sound infrastructure.
England wasn’t as lucky. Their matches take place in the far-away places of Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod and Volgograd. The Three Lions chose a Team Base Camp 30 minutes north of St Petersburg from where they have to traverse Russia.
The famous entourage, the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends) are able to live and shop in St Pete. Instead of meeting their loved ones at the team hotel in rural Russia, the WAGs will be allowed to welcome their better halves on their day off in St Pete, arguably Russia’s most beautiful city