The finishing touches are being added inside the Grand Sport Arena at the Luzhniki Olympic Complex. The stadium can already host football matches, Sergei Sobyanin noted, while inspecting the arena.
“The Luzhniki Grand Sport Arena has almost been finished; floodlights, lamps and sound systems have been installed. Even the turf root system was strengthened during the winter using special technologies, and it is already possible to play football on it. The finishing touches are being added, equipment is being installed and adjusted, and there are absolutely no doubts that Luzhniki will open on time,” Mr Sobyanin said.
Apart from the Grand Sport Arena, we need to open 19 facilities for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he added. Eight of them are already complete, and we have made considerable headway on all the others. “The grounds surrounding Luzhniki will continue to be improved until late summer. We’ll complete everything on time, and I hope this will be a high-quality job,” Mr Sobyanin noted.
The Stadium of the 159-hectare Luzhniki Olympic Complex was opened in 1956; and the upgraded Stadium and its grandstands have a total area of 221,000 square metres. The Stadium was partially rebuilt for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games and in the early 1990s.
The latest comprehensive reconstruction of the area was launched in the first quarter of 2014 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The primary goal was to create a modern world-class arena meeting all FIFA standards and requirements while preserving the stadium’s historical façade that symbolises Moscow’s architecture and Russian sport.
Crimson grandstands and ceiling mounted media screen
The upgraded stadium’s capacity is 81,000. The grandstands are subdivided into various zones, depending on the requirements and specifics of a sport or event. The stadium has a VIP grandstand for 2,000 guests and a guest zone for 4,500 people. The media zone can hold about 2,500 people, and there is also space for 300 people with disabilities. The stadium includes 100 corporate Sky Box lounges.
The grandstand seats are crimson, with beige (fawn-coloured) hues. This combination was chosen by the online vote of 137,000 city residents on the Active Citizen website. The seats are located as close as possible to the football field, and the mounting inclination has also been increased for better viewing.
The total width of all grandstand exits was increased by 100 metres (from 144 to 249 metres) for greater safety; this helps eliminate overcrowding and long queues. In all, 44 new cascade stairways have been installed along the stadium’s perimetre, and the number of main exits has increased from 13 to 16. It will take spectators 15 minutes to leave the arena.
On the outside, the roof cornice perimetre has been extended by 11 metres to protect spectators from precipitation. The roof surface has been replaced with modern and very durable polycarbonate with high light-transmittance levels. Built-in LED sections can turn the roof into a huge 40,000 square metre media screen during matches and other events. The screen can display team flags, scores, broadcast videos or show any other information.
A special system illuminates the stadium’s façade wall; the three modes include routine daytime lighting, routine bright nighttime lighting and bright festive lighting during holidays.
The area beneath the grandstands, including two warm-up gyms, locker rooms, a news conference hall, an express-interview zone, offices, cafes and restrooms, has been increased.
An observation deck on the roof is an added feature. It provides an excellent view of central Moscow, Novodevichy Convent, the skyscrapers of the Moscow International Business Centre and Lomonosov Moscow State University. It is located just opposite the popular observation deck on Vorobyovy Gory (Hills).
Unique football field
The new field has several upgrades including a natural turf surface that meets all current FIFA requirements and technical recommendations.
A 1.5-metre thick layer consisting of drainage, heating, watering, aeration systems and systems to monitor the lawn’s agro-technical specifications is located under the football field. Thirty-five kilometres of pipes have been installed under the football field. The watering system alone has 35 sprinklers, and the technical facility boasts six 8,000-litre tanks.
The natural grass was planted last August. It required 410 kilogrammes of seed, or 50 grammes per square metre. DLF Trifolium seeds were selected for the adverse Moscow climate. English bluegrass (Lolium perenne) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) make up 60 and 40 percent of the grass surface, respectively. The natural grass sprouted in last September. After grass blades reached a height of three centimetres, the lawn was sewn through using special synthetic threads for maintaining the plants’ root system.
The heating system maintains a stable temperature (plus 15 degrees), with a special system simulating sunlight; this will preserve the natural lawn in the winter. When temperatures rose above zero, a special protective coating was removed from the field, and additional seeds were sown. The roots are already 15-17 centimetres deep, and it is possible to play football on the field at this point.
Apart from the unique lawn, the football field will feature a goal-control system allowing referees to accurately record the moments the ball crosses the goal line. Several video cameras will watch the goals, with referees obtaining data from special bracelets.
The Luzhniki Grand Sport Arena has been upgraded almost completely. Some interior finishing needs to be applied; some seats remain to be installed and new equipment to be adjusted.
2018 FIFA World Cup: training fields and tents for journalists
The Luzhniki Complex is to host seven 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, including the opening match, three group-leg games, one round of 16 match, one semifinal and the final.
Apart from the Grand Sport Arena, 19 facilities with a total area of 50,300 square metres will be built or upgraded at the Luzhniki Complex, including the accreditation centre, three football training fields, three field infrastructure facilities, five security gates for screening visitors, three street-sport service centres, two ticket offices and two other service pavilions.
Eight facilities are already complete, and three more, including the first and second security gates on Glory Alley and a 4,968 square metre accreditation centre, are authorised to open at any time. All other facilities are 80 percent ready, and they are to be completed in the second quarter of this year.
During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the complex will accommodate temporary tents with a total area of 116,000 square metres that will house various facilities, including FIFA and Russian 2018 Organising Committee offices, the ticket centre, TV newscaster and commentator booths, the volunteer corps, security services and others. The tents are to be installed from August 2017 through April 2018.
The latest security system based on international and Russian experience, including from the Olympic Games in Sochi, will be established during the reconstruction and improvement of the grounds. Per FIFA requirements, the authorities will subdivide the territory into about ten multi-priority security zones, including general-access zones, transport routes, press zones, etc.
Under a preliminary project, the stadium’s surveillance system will have about 1,500 security cameras to monitor the grounds. Six vehicle and seven pedestrian checkpoints will be installed along the perimetre. The security system is now 70 percent complete.
The utility mains will also be upgraded. About 16 kilometres of power transmission and communications lines will be replaced, as well as about 24 kilometres of other utility mains. This project is now 98 percent complete. The Zolotaryovskaya electric substation was built for a more reliable power supply. Six purification facilities and two sewage-pump stations are also being built.
Russia’s main sport park
The Luzhniki Olympic Complex is being revived and developed as Russia’s main sport park. In all, 112 hectares of a total of 159 are being renovated.
In September 2016, workers finished improving Luzhnetskaya Embankment and created additional pedestrian zones. The embankment now features cycling and jogging lanes, street workout sites and a promenade for long-distance walkers. The waterfront has turned into one huge public space. A sloping granite stairway leading toward the river has been replaced with a wooden equivalent made from specially treated larch. People can exercise, sunbathe, read, relax and enjoy the Moskva River. Athletes and pedestrians can use 170 new benches, 118 rubbish bins, 50 bicycle parking facilities, 30 navigation stands and 300 lamps along the embankment.
Fountains will be upgraded in other sections of the complex. An eight-fountain cluster is being upgraded on Central Alley under a comprehensive project. Equipment and utility mains are being replaced, and new indoor technical facilities are under construction. Two fountains are being rebuilt opposite the State Central Concert Hall Rossiya; bowls and technical facilities are being coated with concrete. Workers are also installing steel rods inside the bowl of the Stone Flower fountain.
There are also plans to plant 1,050 new trees, 14,000 square metres of flowerbeds and 53,480 blooming shrubs.
Sixty-eight percent of the grounds have already been upgraded, and the project is to be completed before the year is out.