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Luzhniki Stadium fit to welcome 78,000 spectators at Russia-Argentina football friendly

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

MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Moscow’s reconstructed Luzhniki Stadium is ready to accommodate a total of 78,000 spectators at the friendly football match between the national teams of Russia and Argentina next month, an official with the Russian Football Union (RFU) told TASS on Wednesday.

The friendly match between Russia and Argentina will be played on November 11 at the Luzhniki Stadium, which idled for the period of reconstruction works since 2013. Tickets for the match went on sale on Wednesday with prices starting at 750 rubles ($13).

Asked about the total amount of tickets to be put on sale for the Russia-Argentina friendly, Vladimir Karpovich, the RFU commercial director, said "It will all depend on sales."

"The current seat capacity of the Luzhniki Stadium stands at 78,000," Karpovich told TASS.

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

This was 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 Stadium’s principal affinity, however, was with football since over 3,000 matches have been played there over the years.

Two weeks ago, the RFU announced that the Russian national football team will play at home two friendly matches next month against the teams of Argentina and Spain on November 11 and 14 respectively.

This month the Russian 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).

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

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 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.