Moscow's Luzhniki Arena To Be Finished By 2017, Ahead Of Hosting 2018 World Cup
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).