After appeals from Russian hosts, FIFA agreed to reduce the required capacity of 2018 WC final stadium, the famous Luzhniki. With previous expectations the stadium would have to be torn down completely, according to RIA Novosti.
Along the information in FIFA requirements and Russian bid dossier the renovated Luzhniki was to hold 89,000 people for 2018 World Cup final. That means in reality it would have to be considerably bigger as the tournament sees many seats converted for camera platforms or press areas.
To reach this capacity the entire stadium would have to be destroyed and replaced by a new, bigger one. Its current size is almost 10,000 lower.
Russians have thus appealed to FIFA to decrease the required size, arguing that Brazil wasn’t given such a high level for final venue – Maracana barely seats some 80,000.
Now FIFA approved the request and decreased the desired size to 81,000. This allows new stands to be built within existing stadium’s roof and historical facades, retaining the distinctive shape and hopefully saving major expenses.
Renovation works are to start after the upcoming athletic championships in August and may last 3-4 years. It’s possible the new layout will see no running track, making the stadium a football-only.