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Luzhniki Stadium’s reconstruction for 2018 FIFA World Cup totals $410 mln

Refurbishment on the Luzhniki Arena was launched in 2013 and completed in May

MOSCOW, August 29. /TASS/. A total sum spent on the reconstruction works at Moscow’s historic Luzhniki Stadium, which is one of 12 stadiums across Russia selected to host matches of 2018 FIFA World Cup, is estimated at 24 billion rubles (almost $410 million), Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said on Tuesday.

Asked by journalists how expensive the reconstruction works at the Luzhniki stadium were, Sobyanin replied: "24 billion rubles and it makes it the cheapest stadium among the rest of this kind."

The mayor of the Russian capital also said that all money spent on the Luzhniki Arena "was allocated from the municipal budget."

Moscow offers two stadiums as venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and they are the recently-built Spartak Stadium, which opened on September 5, 2014, and Moscow’s famous Luzhniki Arena, which is intended to host the opening match, one of the semifinals and the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"It (the stadium) also complies with all international standards," Sobyanin said. "Luzhniki will be one of the top stadiums in the world in terms of security."

The Moscow mayor said that a two-level security system would be set up on the surrounding area of the stadium before the FIFA World Cup boasting over 3,000 surveillance cameras, some 1,500 sensors and other security equipment elements.

"Luzhniki’s reconstruction works have been completed and we are ready for hosting the tournaments," Sobyanin said. "We are currently finishing works on the security perimeter. We will commission it (the stadium) ahead of the schedule, by the end of the year."

Refurbishment on the Luzhniki Arena was launched in 2013 and once the work was completed, the stadium would extend its spectator capacity boasting up to 81,000 seats.

This is the second grand reconstruction of the stadium, which was initially 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 will be 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 Arena’s principal affinity, however, was with football since over 3,000 matches have been played there over the years.

After hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Russia was granted the right for the football championship after clinching the bid in Guatemala in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against a bid from England, a joint bid from Portugal and Spain and another joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.