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Luzhniki Stadium renovation races to the finish line

Gianni Infantino made his first visit as FIFA President to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ host country earlier this month. Proceedings kicked off with a tour of the country’s largest and most iconic stadium the Luzhniki Stadium, where he received a comprehensive update on the excellent progress of the refurbishment work at this, the venue for both the Opening Match and Final match of Russia 2018, from Moscow’s Mayor Sergey Sobyanin.

While a number of Russia’s 2018 World Cup™ host stadia are suffering from delays, the redevelopment works at Luzhniki Stadium are actually ahead of schedule; with the seating bowl already completed, the façade renovated and work on the furnishings and installations – including the new skyboxes – well underway.

Commenting on the overall preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Infantino commented:

From what I have seen so far, particularly after this visit, I am even more convinced that this will be the best FIFA World Cup™ ever. And I have some comparisons with other competitions from my previous work. I can say that we are on track here and we have the full commitment that everything will be done in accordance with the schedule. Naturally, stadiums all need to be completed by December 2017 to allow proper testing and ensure that all will be done to stage a smooth FIFA World Cup. Everyone in Russia is conscious that there is still a lot to be done, on the construction at the stadia, on accommodation and on infrastructure. We can’t lose any days, but again from all I have experienced, I am convinced it will be a great success. I can see there is a lot of progress and a lot of commitment from all football people, and that makes me really optimistic two years before the FIFA World Cup and one year before the FIFA Confederations Cup, that Russia will stage the best FIFA World Cup ever.

Speaking on the transformation of Luzhniki Stadium, Infantino confirmed:

I’m very impressed by the progress made and the transformation of this venue. It’s changed a lot since the last time I was here. This will be an awe-inspiring venue for fans and players in 2018. Inside you can feel the atmosphere of football. It’s great to see that outside the historic parts have been preserved, while inside it will be a state-of-the-art football venue—the right setting for the game’s most important tournament.

Moscow’s deputy mayor, Marat Khusnullin, also announced that the works will be finished one year ahead of its original 2017 target.

Khusnullin confirmed:

The reconstruction is proceeding ahead of schedule. Initially the work was planned to be completed in 2017, but we can now see that we will finish construction work in 2016. Testing and commissioning work will take place in 2017.

About Luzhniki Stadium

Location: ul. Luzhniki 24, Moscow
Client: City of Moscow
Authors: Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsov
Project leader: Nikolai Gordyushin
Project team: SPEECH Moscow | speech International Berlin
Total area: 150,000 sqm
Construction: 2014 to end 2016
Photography: speech International

Luzhniki Stadium is the largest stadium in Russia and is part of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, which was opened in 1956.

The first extensive renovation of the stadium was undergone in 1996; during which a roof was constructed covering the stands, and the seating areas were refurbished.

After Luzhniki was confirmed as the venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening match, the semifinals and the final, the stadium had to be redeveloped according to FIFA requirements, with capacity increased to be 81,000-seats. One of the project’s key targets is to preserve the unique character of the building, its spirit and historical elements.

One of the main characteristics of the stadium’s interior will be a concourse behind the historical façade. This architectural solution will establish a dialogue between the historic façade elements and the new geometry of the bowl.


Images: speech International