MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. Some 74,000 tickets have been sold for a friendly football match between the national teams of Russia and Argentina, which kicks off in the Russian capital this Saturday, an official with the Russian Football Union (RFU) told TASS on Wednesday.
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 two weeks ago with prices starting at 750 rubles ($13).
"We are almost sold out as the figure stands at about 74,000," Vladimir Karpovich, RFU’s commercial director, said in an interview with TASS.
"About 2,000-3,000 [tickets] are still on sale and we have also many unsold expensive tickets for the seats in sky-boxes."
"We have distributed part of the tickets among representatives of our football family,’ including children’s sports schools and RFU’s regional federations," he added.
Karpovich announced last week that the total number of tickets rolled out for sale ahead of the Russia-Argentina friendly match stood at 78,000, which equaled 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. The stadium is expected to extend its spectator capacity up to 81,000 seats for global championship.
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.
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.
The RFU announced in October that the Russian national football team would play at home two friendly matches this month - against the teams of Argentina and Spain on November 11 and 14 respectively.
Last month, the Russian national football squad played two friendly fixtures, namely against South Korea in Moscow on October 7 (4-2) and Iran on October 10 in Kazan (1-1).