|1,700 (VIP seats)|
|5,976 (1,944 in 102 boxes) (Business seats)|
|292+292 (Disabled seats)|
|Renovations||1979, 1996, 1999, 2007-2008, 2013-2017|
|Cost||RUB 26.6 billion (2013-2017)|
|Structural Engineer||Metropolis (2013-2017)|
|Address||Luzhnetskaya nab. 24, 119048 Moskva|
In late December 1954 USSR authorities decided that Moscow Leeds a major stadium, worthy of the empire it was supposed to represent. Uncovered terraces for app. 103,000 people were designed and construction started already in Spring of 1955. The massive stadium took only 450 days to be ready for opening, despite the need to install some 10,000 piles in the ground to secure future stability. Resources needed for construction and equipment were brought to Moscow from all parts of the USSR, including Belarus, Lithuania, Armenia and distant regions of Russia. Cost remains unknown, but to show how important it was to finish this stadium in time, let us just say that a whole district of housing was halted in order to have sufficient resources for new Luzhniki stadium.
Single-tiered bowl for spectators was erected on reinforced concrete and hidden behind monumental facades from the outside. Over the whole venue were four giant floodlight masts that lasted until roof was installed in 1996. Then came conversion to all-seater mode in 1999, that decreased capacity to around 80,000. Corruption charges were raised when it turned out seats were provided by a company belonging to Russia’s richest woman, wife of Moscow’s mayor.
It’s hard to name one sporting event that hasn’t been played or planned in the near future here. Summer Universiade in 1973, Summer Olympics in 1980, Youth Olympics in 1998 and Athletics World Championships in 2013. The list goes on with football fixtures – UEFA Cup final in 1999, Champions League final in 2008, World Cup final in 2018. Then comes rugby World Cup 2013, domestic cup finals, major Moscow derbies and other games by Moscow’s largest clubs.
There are also many non-sporting events in history of Luzhniki. Concerts of World’s biggest stars (Madonna, Michael Jackson, U2, etc.) and political rallies are on the list. There is also a tragedy that took place here in 1982, when many people died. Due to official propaganda, number of victims remains unknown to date, estimates starting at the official 66 victims and ending at over 350, according to independent journalists.
The largest ever reconstruction in the stadium's history took place ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Several variants were under consideration, including demolition of the whole stadium and construction of a futuristic weatherproof arena in its place. Eventually a compromise was found between old and new as Moscow authorities decided to retain the historic walls and existing roof of the stadium. This created a shell under which reconstruction was to take place.
Such move was possible also thanks to FIFA who agreed to lower the minimum capacity requirement from around 90,000 to 80,000. With lower number of seats it became possible to create a brand new seating bowl inside, for the first time in history without a running track. The new layout fits just perfectly, with the uppermost row being placed 37.5m above the field, just under the roof. Eventually almost 81,000 seats were enabled, divided into two large tiers and a thin strip of 102 private boxes between them.
Removal of the olf seats began in the summer of 2013 and, following demolition of the old stands, actual construction followed in early 2014. Though the contractor received 42 months to carry out the project, the company did what was possible to deliver it earlier, eventually allowing handover in June, 2017.
Thanks to the stands being moved closer to the field, vast new infrastructure was created underneath the auditorium. The stadium grew to 6 floors and with floor space of 221,000 m2 it became one of the largest in the world. This created room for extra facilities, like VVIP parking sites under north and south stands, which in turn helped to preserve the green realm around the stadium itself instead of covering it with asphalt.
Change in seating layout forced a change of the roof itself. While all of the old structure was preserved, additional 7,000 m2 of translucent sheets were created around the inner edges to properly protect fans in new front rows. The whole roof received new cladding with lighting installed within it, which makes Luzhniki's roof the largest video screen in Moscow.
Extension of the roof also prompted a change in the field type. Instead of natural (2008-2013), the world's most modern hybrid turf was installed to withstand limited ventilation and sunlight access, as well as harsh Moscow winters.
Stadium of the Year 2017: Let the vote begin!
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Moscow: Luzhniki ready but without a match
As Russia is preparing to welcome the teams and fans coming for the 2017 Confederations Cup, Moscow's national stadium is now officially ready. That said, no game is planned here until October.
Moscow: Work on time despite arctic weather
Passing week was a very rough one, with temperatures falling even to -30 (-22F). That didn’t stop workers at Luzhniki, where commissioning has begun. Delivery in March is still the plan.
Moscow: Luzhniki almost ready, as expected
Russia’s national stadium will have almost all work delivered within the next several weeks. That’s much sooner than expected back in 2014 and soon enough to even make the Confederations Cup.
Moscow: All seats at Luzhniki in February
By the end of 2016 there will be some 25,000 seats installed at Russia’s national stadium. To see the final layout with 81,000 seats we have to wait until February.
Moscow: Luzhniki structurally ready, time for the seats
Is this the best possible colour scheme for the 81,000+ seats? It better be, because installation began and is going fast. The field is ready and so is the entire structure, now time for installations and furnishings.
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Moscow: Luzhniki to be opened in 2017 after all
Despite earlier announcements of first game in 2016, now official sources suggest the opening match won’t be held until early 2017. Meanwhile we get a grasp of the future leisure hub around Russia’s national stadium.
Moscow: Luzhniki structurally complete
With only minor works ongoing regarding construction, Russia’s largest stadium is shifting focus to systems and furnishings as the project continues to be ahead of schedule.
Moscow: Luzhniki to return to glory soon
Renovation of the historic façade is well underway and installation of the field will begin this summer. By year end we’ll see the legendary Russian stadium in full glory again.
Moscow: Check out the reinvented Luzhniki
Nearly all of the main structure is ready and you can clearly see the changed seating bowl. Now with two tiers and no room for a running track, the stands will soon hold 81,000 seats.
Moscow: 33 years ago, but still unclear
You won’t find photos documenting these tragic events. You won’t even find a death toll that wouldn’t be questioned. What happened at Luzhniki in 1982 remains unclear to this day.
Moscow: 90% of the Luzhniki concrete structure ready
Russia 2018’s final stadium already has 90% of its main concrete structure in place. By year end it will be done, leaving less challenging works for 2016.
Moscow: What happened at Luzhniki?
It looked extremely bad, but ended with fear. Only some construction materials were destroyed and the façade seared. Works aren’t halted at Russia’s national stadium, still ahead of schedule.
Moscow: Luzhniki to become Russia’s Wembley?
After reconstruction is over, Russian national stadium will become the site of most prestigious matches, including domestic cup final. Avoiding white elephant status may be difficult, though.
Moscow: Luzhniki to be worth €350 million
Works on Russia’s national stadium are constantly ahead of schedule by 2-3 months. The cost can only be estimated at this point, currently expected to be around €350 million.
New design: The monster of Moscow
This one isn’t getting built. On the one hand we’re relieved, but on the other it’s so intriguing that seeing it delivered would have been exciting! The Luzhniki stadium that never was.
Moscow: Luzhniki to turn into one giant screen
The existing roof may have been preserved during construction, but it will soon gain a new use. 39,000 square meters of dynamic illuminations will allow people across Moscow to see the game.
Moscow: Luzhniki ahead of schedule, prepared for earlier delivery
1,500 people are working day and night to speed up works at Russia’s national stadium. It was the contractor’s choice in the wake of Russia’s economic instability.