Luzhniki Stadium

Key facts

Club: none | Opening: 1956 | Capacity: 78,360 seats

History and description

Luzhniki Stadium, earlier called Central Lenin Stadium, was built between 1955 and 1956. It was the result of the ambition of the Soviet leadership to upgrade the country’s sports facilities after the Soviet Union had tasted its first post-war successes at the 1952 Olympics.

Works on the Luzhniki Olympic complex started in 1954 and construction of its centrepiece stadium, also called the Grand Sports Arena, in 1955. The stadium got finished in just 450 days and officially opened on the 31st of July 1956.

Luzhniki Stadium served as the centrepiece stadium of the 1980 Olympics, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics events, football finals, and equestrian programme.

In 1982, a stadium disaster took place at the stadium during a second round UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak and Dutch side HFC Haarlem. In the dying seconds of the match people started rushing for the exits to make it to the metro before the rest of the crowd. When someone fell at the icy staircases, chaos ensued, and the resulting crush and domino effect killed 66 people.

Until the 1990s, the roofless stadium could hold just over 100,000 spectators. In 1996, the stadium got extensively renovated, which included the construction of a roof over the stands and the refurbishment of the seating areas, which resulted in a decrease of capacity.

In 1999 Luzhniki Stadium hosted the UEFA Cup final between Parma and Marseille (3-0), and in 2008 the Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea (1-1).

Luzhniki Stadium has been selected to host the final of the 2018 World Cup and is set to undergo a large redevelopment in preparation. It hosted its last football match in May 2013 and will be closed following the IAAF Athletics World Championships in August 2013.

Spartak Moscow, who used the stadium to host their home matches in the last few years, have moved away to Lokomotiv Stadium and will move into their new permanent home, the Otkritie Arena, in 2014.

(photos of the present Luzhniki Stadium below)

Getting there

Luzhniki Stadium is located at the Luzhniki Sports Complex, an area of sports facilities and park land in a bend of the Moskva River about 6 kilometres south-west of Moscow’s city centre.

The stadium can be reached with the red metro line 1. Station Sportivnaya, or alternatively Vorob’yovy Gory, both lie within short walking distance of the stadium. Line 1 directly connects with Moscow’s city centre, and the ride from either Okhotny Ryad or Biblioteka takes no more than 10 minutes.

Luzhniki Stadium lies practically adjacent to Moscow’s Third Ring Road. If arriving by car, orientate yourself with regards to the Moscow River and take the first exit after crossing the Moscow River at the bend where the stadium is located.

Address: Luzhnetskaya naberezhnaya 24, Moscow

Eat, drink, and sleep

Luzhniki forms part of the Luzhniki Sports Complex and is surrounded by other sports facilities and parks. Its location right on the river Moskva is pleasant on a summer’s day, but there is little around in terms of eating and drinking, which can therefore better be done in central Moscow.

Luzhniki Hotel is located right inside the stadium and will be therefore be perfect for those wishing to stay as close to the stadium as possible. It is a rather basic hotel and not cheap, but there is of course something about staying inside the stadium itself.

Comparable, though slightly better rated alternatives lie near Sportivnaya metro station, which are Yunost Hotel, Business Hotel Spektr, and Blues Hotel.

Click here for all hotels near Luzhniki Stadium, and here for an overview of hotels in central Moscow. Renting an apartment tends to be cheaper than a hotel room in Moscow.

Photos

Relevant Internet links

Spartak.com – Official website of FC Spartak Moscow.
Moscow.ru – Moscow international portal.
Mosmetro.ru – Official site of the Moscow metro.

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