First bonus: Luzhniki is back
After a global renovation, the historic stadium in Luzhniki, the main 2018 FIFA World Cup arena, has come alive once again. As of today, it is a multipurpose football stadium classified as an elite place that can seat up to 81,000 fans. This is three thousand more than before. After the renovation work there are no longer any blind spots at Luzhniki, and the stadium roof has been turned into a huge media screen. Due to the increased number of exits, fans will be able to leave the arena 15 minutes after the match is over. There are 300 seats for people with limited mobility.
The stadium now has a one-kilometre-long panoramic observation point and a sports park next to the renovated Luzhnetskaya Embankment and Vorobyovy Gory.
Five million tourists Luzhniki expects annually. The stadium will be actively used after the championship, too: when there is no football , concerts and festivals will be held there. In this case, the unique pitch will be protected by a special cover.
Exhibition halls designed for 90 visitors in the FIFA service rooms are expected to open. There will be offices at the city press centre and a gym in the rooms used by the volunteers. The space will be redesigned for jogging, cycling and rolling clubs, and souvenir shops will be set up at the service pavilions. The temporary constructions at the hospitality zone will be re-equipped and turned into covered mini-football venues and multipurpose gyms.
And who will get the excellent training grounds with stalls, maintenance rooms, drainage and heating systems built at Luzhniki, Spartak and CSKA stadiums as well as in Strogino? According to the Department of Sports and Tourism, pupils at the Moscow sports school will train there.
According to the department’s spokesperson, the grounds will be used by junior footballers as well as rugby players and other athletes. Because of the renovation work national and international competitions will be held there. For example, the World Cup arenas will be used as the Moscow teams’ home stadiums, in addition to the national championship, international matches, Euro League matches, the Derby and other competitions too.
After the World Cup, Moscow will be rightfully called one of the world’s most famous football cities. It will become the most well-suited megalopolises according to the infrastructure volume.
Second bonus: Upgraded transport
The Moscow transport renovation work is a permanent process. Mosgortrans annually renews its rolling stock by about 1,000 items. The Moscow Metro plans to purchase 1,600 new carriages in the near future.
The World Cup has given this process an additional boost, and a huge one at that. The Moscow Metro has purchased 360 new trains and the MCC 42 trains; Mosgortrans received 173 upgraded trams and 1,240 new low-floor buses suited for passengers with disabilities. On the eve of the World Cup, Moscow aeroexpress trains have become a floor higher: new-generation two-floor trains now run to both Vnukovo and Domodedovo airports.
It was important that at least one metro or MCC station opened near all the largest Moscow stadiums regardless whether they host World Cup matches or not during the last four years. Spartak, CSKA and Lokomotiv arenas now have stations with the same name. The second station, Petrovsky Park, opened near Dinamo Stadium, the construction of which will soon be completed.
The southern entrance hall, which is nearest to Luzhniki, has opened at Sportivnaya Station after lengthy renovation work. The escalators that served for almost 60 years have now been replaced. The new ones were designed in Russia: they need 30 percent less electricity and are safer than the previous ones. The capability of the entrance hall has also increased: there now are four escalators instead of three, and they can carry an additional 7,000 passengers per hour, or 136,500 passengers per day.
Third bonus: Renewed airports
Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports have been done up for the World Cup, and a new airport has opened in Zhukovsky. Sheremetyevo has been transformed, too. In addition to a crossing between terminals (it only takes four minutes to cross from the northern to southern building now), a new passenger terminal has been constructed. It was in the remarkable and world-renown style of Russian Constructivism. Its capability is 20 million passengers per year.
A hotel connected with the airport by an underground tunnel has opened at the renewed airport square in Vnukovo.
Fourth bonus medical workers became more qualified
Moscow has added 37 ambulances because of the World Cup. They will continue to work after the tournament. The ambulances have all the necessary equipment to help patients on the way to hospitals: lung ventilators and Autopulse systems, an advanced machine for artificial blood circulation during cardiac arrests.
While preparing for the World Cup, healthcare workers had to learn several new subjects: how to provide help in emergency situations, how to use an automatic defibrillator for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the English language. Intensivists, therapists, general practitioners and nurses – over 400 specialists in total – have learnt or improved their English during special courses that focused on medical terms.
All these skills will also prove useful in the future. Moscow regularly holds large events that attract many tourists from all over the world.
Fifth bonus: Hotels confirm their class
In Moscow, 1,453 hotels proved their readiness to take in World Cup fans, with 73,911 rooms (over 200,000 places) classified according to international standards.
The highest rating of five stars has been assigned to 35 hotels, four stars to 112, three stars to 286, two stars to 134 and one star to 68 hotels. Assessments also involved 818 hotels in no category what so ever (including 546 hostels).
Star regulations: How hotels are ranked
In addition to all this, hundreds of thousands foreign tourists will visit Moscow during the World Cup, including many celebrities who will leave their trace on Moscow culture, such as the world-renown Argentinian street artist Martin Ron. His murals dedicated to football and created as part of the MOST festival now decorate a building on Solzhenitsyna Street and a residential building on Zhukova Prospekt. The murals portray Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America, Black Widow as well as a young footballer who is about to kick a ball onto the pitch.