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Refurbishing Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the 2018 World Cup final, "will take three and a half years," according to R-SPORT. The "hulking and iconic arena" on the banks of the Moskva River closed after August's world athletics championships, and work is "to start in the new year as the final design is still being finalized." After the work is completed in April '17, the stadium will have a capacity of 81,000, up from 78,000 at present. The increase "is less than FIFA had asked for," but football’s world governing body settled for less after discussions with Moscow officials worried about the potential €1.5B ($2B) cost of a more extensive rebuild. Luzhniki "will host the opening match, a semifinal and the final." It will not be used for the 2017 Confederations Cup, which "will be staged in new stadiums belonging to Zenit St. Petersburg, Spartak Moscow, the Kazan Arena and Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium" (R-SPORT, 10/11).
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe has given Paris Saint-Germain permission for a major renovation of its home stadium, Parc des Princes, after Euro 2016. Delanoe signed a letter addressed to PSG President Nasser Al Khelaifi that stated his approval for the stadium to be renovated. The stadium is owned by the city of Paris. Last year, Al Khelaifi said, "Our will is to stay here. The first option is to demolish and then rebuild the Parc on the same site to make it a 60,000-capacity venue. It's a very ambitious project" (PSG). ... Man City's Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow will "go ahead as planned at the Khimki Arena despite worries about the state of the pitch." UEFA officials inspected the pitch on Thursday evening, but although the surface "remains in need of attention, CSKA have been given permission to stage the fixture" after being ordered to play last week's Group D home game against Viktoria Plzen in St. Petersburg (London TELEGRAPH, 10/10).