Luzhniki Stadium

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Luzhniki Stadium
Luzhniki Logo.png
Luzhniki Stadium2.jpg
Former names Central Lenin Stadium (1956–1992)
Location Khamovniki District, Moscow, Russia
Coordinates 55°42′57.56″N 37°33′13.53″E / 55.7159889°N 37.5537583°E / 55.7159889; 37.5537583Coordinates: 55°42′57.56″N 37°33′13.53″E / 55.7159889°N 37.5537583°E / 55.7159889; 37.5537583
Public transit  1  Sportivnaya
 1  Vorobyovy Gory
 14  Luzhniki
Owner Government of Moscow
Operator Luzhniki Olympic Sport Complex JSC
Capacity 81,000 (60,000 with proposed extra platform for athletics)
Record attendance 102,538 (Soviet UnionItaly, 13 October 1963)
Field size 105 by 68 metres (114.8 yd × 74.4 yd)
Surface Grass
Broke ground 1955
Opened 31 July 1956
Renovated 1996–1997, 2001–2004, 2013–2017
Construction cost 350 million (2013–17)[1]
Architect PA Arena, Gmp Architekten and Mosproject-4
Russia national football team

Luzhniki Stadium (Russian: стадион «Лужники», IPA: [stədʲɪˈon lʊʐnʲɪˈkʲi]) is the national stadium of Russia, located in its capital, Moscow. Its total seating capacity of 81,000 makes it the largest football stadium in Russia and one of the largest stadiums in Europe. The stadium is a part of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, and is located in Khamovniki District of the Central Administrative Okrug of Moscow city. The name Luzhniki derives from the flood meadows in the bend of Moskva River where the stadium was built, translating roughly as "The Meadows".

Luzhniki was the main stadium of the 1980 Olympic games, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as some of the competitions, including the final of the football tournament. A UEFA Category 4 stadium, Luzhniki hosted UEFA Cup Final in 1999 and UEFA Champions League Final in 2008. The stadium also hosted such events as 1973 Summer Universiade and 2013 World Championships in Athletics. It was named the main stadium of 2018 FIFA World Cup and will host 7 matches of the tournament, including the final.

In the past its field has been used as the home ground (at various times) for football games played by CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Torpedo Moscow, however, there are currently no clubs based at the stadium. Today it is mainly used as one of the home grounds of the Russian national football team. The stadium is used from time to time for various other sporting events and for concerts. It also used to host Russian domestic cup finals.

It was one of the few major European football stadia to use an artificial pitch, having installed a FIFA-approved FieldTurf pitch in 2002. However, a temporary natural grass pitch was installed for the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final.[2]


A view of Luzhniki Stadium from Sparrow Hills

The stadium is located in Khamovniki District of the Central Administrative Okrug of Moscow city, south-west of the city center. The name Luzhniki derives from the flood meadows in the bend of Moskva River where the stadium was built, translating roughly as "The Meadows". It was necessary to find a very large plot of land, preferably in a green area close to the city center that could fit into the transport map of the capital without too much difficulty. According to one of the architects: "On a sunny spring day of 1954, we, a group of architects and engineers who were tasked with designing the Central stadium, climbed onto a large paved area on the Lenin Hills... the proximity of the river, green mass of clean, fresh air - this circumstance alone mattered to select the area of the future city of sports... In addition, Luzhniki is located relatively close to the city center and convenient access to major transport systems with all parts of the capital".[3]


Background and early years

On 23 December 1954, the Government of the USSR adopted a resolution on the construction of a stadium in the Luzhniki area in Moscow.

Opening ceremony of the 1980 Olympic Games

The decision of the Soviet Government was a response to a specific current international situation: By the early 1950s, Soviet athletes took to the world stage for the first time after the Great Patriotic War, participating in the Olympic Games. The 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki brought the Soviet team 71 medals (of which 22 gold) and second place in the unofficial team standings. It was a major success, but increased athletic development of the Soviet Union, which was a matter of state policy, required the construction of a new sports complex. The proposed complex was to meet all modern international standards and at the same time serve as a training base for the Olympic team and arena for large domestic and international competitions.

The stadium was built in 1955–56 as the Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium. Building materials came from Leningrad and the Armenian SSR, electrical and oak beams for the spectator benches from the Ukrainian SSR, furnitures from Riga and Kaunas, glass was brought from Minsk, electrical equipment from Podolsk in Moscow Oblast, and larch lumber from Irkutsk in Siberia. It was necessary to demolish a whole area of dilapidated buildings (including the Trinity Church, which is supposed to be restored). Because the soil was heavily waterlogged, almost the entire area of the future of the complex had to be raised half a meter. 10,000 piles were hammered into the ground and dredgers reclaimed about 3 million cubic meters of soil.

The stadium was officially opened on 31 July 1956,[4] having been built in just 450 days. It was the national stadium of the Soviet Union, and is now the national stadium of Russia.

1980 Summer Olympics

The stadium was the chief venue for the 1980 Summer Olympics,[5] the spectator capacity being 103,000 at that time. The events hosted in this stadium were the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics, Football finals, and the Individual Jumping Grand Prix.[6]

1982 Luzhniki disaster

On 20 October 1982, disaster struck during a UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem. 66 people died in the stampede,[7] which made it Russia's worst sporting disaster at the time.

1990s and 2000s

Stadium in 2009: Russia vs. Germany

In 1992, the stadium was renamed Luzhniki Stadium. An extensive renovation in 1996 saw the construction of a roof over the stands, and the refurbishment of the seating areas, resulting in a decrease in capacity.[4]

The stadium hosted the 1999 UEFA Cup Final in which Parma defeated Marseille in the second UEFA Cup Final to be played as a single fixture.

The Luzhniki Stadium was chosen by UEFA to host the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final won by Manchester United who beat Chelsea in the first all-English Champions League Final on 21 May. The match passed incident-free and a spokesman for the British Embassy in Moscow said, "The security and logistical arrangements put in place by the Russian authorities have been first-rate, as has been their cooperation with their visiting counterparts from the UK."[8]

In August 2013, the stadium hosted the World Athletics Championships.

Renovation for FIFA World Cup

The first kick in new Luzhniki history

The original stadium was demolished in 2013 to give a way for the construction of a new stadium. The self-supported cover was retained. The facade wall was retained as well, due to its architectural value and later was reconnected to a new building. Construction of the new stadium was completed in 2017.[9]

Luzhniki Stadium during the match in 2017

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been awarded to Russia and the Luzhniki Stadium has been selected by the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup bid[10] as the venue for the final, which will be held on 15 July 2018. The stadium will then join Rome's Stadio Olimpico, Berlin's Olympiastadion, Munich's Olympiastadion, Saint Denis' Stade de France and London's old Wembley Stadium as the only stadiums to have hosted the finals of the FIFA World Cup, UEFA's European Cup/Champions League and featured as a main stadium of the Summer Olympic Games.

The stadium's capacity was increased from 78,000 to 81,000 seats.[11][12]

The largest sport events

Luzhniki Stadium before UCL Final in 2008
Luzhniki Stadium during 2013 IAAF World Championships

Concerts and other events

Moscow Music Peace Festival

Notable events

When the Luzhniki Stadium hosted the final game of the 1957 Ice Hockey World Championship between Sweden and the Soviet Union, it was attended by a crowd of 55,000 and set a new world record at the time.

New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Japanese professional wrestling promotion, ran a show in 1989.

Luzhniki Stadium also makes an appearance in the Russian supernatural thriller film Night Watch (Russian: Ночной дозор, Nochnoy Dozor), during the power shut-down scene when the power station goes into overload. The stadium is seen with a match taking place, and then the lights go out.

In 2008, Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties after a 1 - 1 draw to win their 3rd European Cup. This was United's 3rd appearance in the final, and Chelsea's 1st.

2018 FIFA World Cup

Date Time Team No. 1 Res. Team No. 2 Round Attendance
14 June 2018 18:00  Russia  Saudi Arabia Group A
17 June 2018 18:00  Germany  Mexico Group F
20 June 2018 15:00  Portugal  Morocco Group B
26 June 2018 17:00  Denmark  France Group C
1 July 2018 17:00 Winner Group B Runner-up Group A Round of 16
11 July 2018 21:00 Winner Match 59 Winner Match 60 Semi-final
15 July 2018 18:00 Winner Match 61 Winner Match 62 Final


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Moscow to host Champions League final on natural grass". ESPN. 5 October 2006. 
  3. ^ "История создания комплекса" [Moscow to host Champions League final on natural grass]. Luzhniki Stadium. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Luzhniki Stadium". The Stadium Guide. 
  5. ^ Flanagan, Aaron (2017-09-22). "Russia World Cup final venue completed as new look Luzhniki Stadium is revealed". mirror. Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  6. ^ 1980 Summer Olympics official report. Archived 18 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Volume 2. Part 1. pp. 48-51.
  7. ^ Зайкин, В. (20 July 1989). Трагедия в Лужниках. Факты и вымысел . Известия (in Russian) (202). Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Halpin, Tony (22 May 2008). "Moscow proud of trouble-free Champions League final". London: The Times. Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  9. ^ "Реконструкция Лужников - образец заботы о культурном наследии - мэр". 
  10. ^ "2018 World Cup: A guide to the grounds hosting games in Russia". BBC Sport. 2017-11-30. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  11. ^ "See the incredible snaps as workmen complete new-look 81,000-seater Moscow stadium in time for 2018 World Cup Final". The Sun. 2017-03-23. Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  12. ^ (1900-01-01). "Luzhniki Stadium blossoms as it prepares for a new chapter". Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  13. ^ "U2 in Russia". 
  14. ^ "Luzniky Stadium". Red Hot Chili Peppers. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Stadio Comunale
Summer Universiade
Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Summer Olympics
Opening and Closing Ceremonies (Grand Arena)

Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Summer Olympics
Football Men's Finals (Grand Arena)

Succeeded by
Rose Bowl
Preceded by
Parc des Princes
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Parken Stadium
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
UEFA Champions League
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Preceded by
Daegu Stadium
World Championships in Athletics
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Beijing National Stadium
Preceded by
The Sevens
Rugby World Cup Sevens

Succeeded by
AT&T Park
Preceded by
Arena Corinthians
São Paulo
FIFA World Cup
Opening Venue

Succeeded by
Lusail Iconic Stadium
Preceded by
Estádio do Maracanã
Rio de Janeiro
FIFA World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Lusail Iconic Stadium
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