In addition to the venues mentioned below, check the schedules of Yubileiny Sports Palace, 18 Prospekt Dobrolyubova (tel. 812/323-9315; metro: Sportivnaya); and Krestovsky Sports Complex, Primorsky Park Pobedy, with its main entrance on Krestovsky Ostrov (island; tel. 812/235-1688; metro: Krestovsky Ostrov) for a variety of sporting events throughout the year.
Russia is one of the world's premier figure skater factories and St. Petersburg has produced many of the country's top skaters. Check out the schedule at the Ice Palace (Ledovy Dvorets), 1 Prospekt Pyatiletok (tel. 812/718-6620; www.newarena.spb.ru; metro: Ledovy Dvorets). Otherwise, come during one of the figure skating tournaments, which are held in January and February. See the International Skating Union website for details (www.isu.org).
Ice hockey is a crucial sport in this northern city. Viewing the big matches became a lot more pleasant with the construction of the Ice Palace/Ledovy Dvorets for the 2000 Hockey World Cup. For more casual viewing pleasure, come in winter and visit the bigger city parks, where a match is nearly always underway on the ponds. Tickets for the Ice Palace are available at the palace itself or at theater ticket kiosks around town (called kassa, spelled KACCA in Russian).
Soccer is Russians' favorite sport. St. Petersburg's premier soccer club, Zenit, is finally emerging from the shadows of its Moscow rivals. If you're in town during a Zenit match, head for Petrovsky Stadium, 2 Petrovsky Prospekt (tel. 812/328-8901; metro: Sportivnaya), and be prepared for some raucous behavior. City parks host informal soccer (called futbol here) matches year-round -- even in the snow. See www.uefa.com for European League matches in St. Petersburg.
The St. Petersburg Open, held at rather run-down Peterburgsky Sport Complex, 8 Ulitsa Gagarina (tel. 812/378-1710; www.spbopen.ru; metro: Park Pobedy), is the main venue at which to catch top-ranked Russian ATP stars on their homeland's courts. The Davis Cup also sometimes comes here (www.daviscup.com).