Club: FC Spartak Moscow | 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.
The stadium is currently the regular home by FC Spartak, but also occasionally used by PFC CSKA. Spartak is currently building a new club-owned stadium that is expected to open in 2014.
Luzhniki Stadium is set to be the playing venue of the 2018 World Cup. It is likely to get thoroughly renovated for the event, though concrete plans have not yet been presented.
(photos of the present Luzhniki Stadium below)
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.
Tickets for FC Spartak games can be bought online, at the club offices at the Luzhniki Stadium, or at the Spartak shop at Krasnaya Presnya 21 near metro stop Krasnopresnenskaya (north-east of Moscow city centre).
Ticket prices depend on the opponent, but for a typical match range from RUB 350.00 for a lower-tier seat behind the goal to RUB 1,750.00 for a premium seat at the main stand. Ticket prices are increased to between RUB 400.00 and RUB 2,400 for a few high-profile matches
Luzhniki Stadium offers guided tours around the complex that last about 30 minutes.
Tours generally run on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm and Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Check the Luzhniki website for current dates and hours.
The tour costs RUB 250.00. For more information and bookings call +7 (495) 637 00 72 or +7 (495) 637 07 47, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Internet links