Stadion FOP Izmailovo
|Clubs||FK Sportakademklub Moskva|
|Address||ul. Sovetskaya 80, 105122 Moskva|
Stadion FOP Izmailovo – stadium description
This ground’s history dates back to 1930’s when Russians started work on defence plans for Moscow. Part of it was building a national stadium for 129,000 people in Izmailovo district. What does this have to do with defence? Stadium was just the surface. Underneath its construction a huge bunker was planned to accommodate rooms for Stalin and his generals as well as room for a massive 150 tanks. The bunker was connected with so called “second subway” – a secret chain of tunnels under Moscow that allowed authorities and army to move unnoticed.
Construction started in 1934. Eventually three tiers were to be erected in the shape of hexagon. Lowest for 36,800, middle for 22,000 and upper for 70,200 people. However until 1939, when WWII broke out, only the underground part was done. As sports functions had little importance, works on terracing were halted for years and to this day the ground has only one 2-tier stand. throughout WWII 2,000 officials were working under the venue unnoticed as they only used the tunnels for transport.
After renovation works already in the 21st Century the stand now accommodates 13,000 people and the stadium hosts Sportakademklub, a football side that since 2009 started falling from first division, ending up as an amateur side. As the stadium is part of Russia’s central armed force museum, many military accents may be found here, for example a plane mounted onto the stands.