MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. A full-house attendance is expected at the newly-reconstructed Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital of Moscow next week during a friendly football match between the national teams of Russia and Argentina, an official with the Russian Football Union (RFU) told TASS on Tuesday.
The friendly match between hosts Russia and Argentina is scheduled for November 11 at the Luzhniki Stadium, which had been idle for the period of reconstruction works since 2013. Tickets for the match went on sale last week on Wednesday with prices starting at 750 rubles ($13).
"As of today, we have already sold 50,000 tickets and we expect a full-house attendance," Vladimir Karpovich, RFU’s commercial director, said in an interview with TASS, adding that the total number of tickets rolled out for sale stood at 78,000. This is the figure equaling the seat-capacity of the legendary sports facility in Moscow.
The refurbishment of the Luzhniki Arena began in 2013 as part of the country’s preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and once the work was completed, the stadium expected to extend its spectator capacity up to 81,000 seats.
It was the second grand-scale reconstruction of the stadium, originally built in 1957. The first major repair works on the stadium took place in the run-up to the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.
Following the current reconstruction efforts, the athletics tracks inside the stadium were removed, the spectators’ stand are now rectangular in form and moved closer to the pitch, while the number of tiers were increased to 16 from the previous 13.
One of the main aspects of the reconstruction project was to preserve the historical facade of the stadium, which, according to FIFA, "since 1956 hosted a multitude of major sporting and cultural events, including the 1980 Summer Olympics, world championships in ice hockey, athletics and rugby and concerts featuring some of the world's greatest musical performers."
The Luzhniki Stadium’s principal affinity, however, was with football since over 3,000 matches have been played there over the years.
Early this month, the RFU announced that the Russian national football team would play at home two friendly matches next month against the teams of Argentina and Spain on November 11 and 14 respectively.
The Russian national football squad played two friendly fixtures in this month, namely against South Korea in Moscow on October 7 (4-2) and Iran on October 10 in Kazan (1-1).