FIFA World Cup 2018 : The spectacular stadiums that will welcome fans in Russia

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City: Moscow

Capacity: 80,000

Luzhniki will be the centerpiece stadium for the World Cup. Opened in 1956 as the Central Lenin Stadium, the venue has a storied history and has hosted major sporting events down the years, including the 1980 Summer Olympics and the 2008 UEFA Champions League final. It closed in 2013 for major renovation work ahead of this summer’s World Cup, and reopened in November of last year.

 

The capacity has been increased from 78,000 to 80,000, and major changes have been made to the structure, including removing the athletics track from around the pitch and bringing the seats closer to the action. The roof will provide a spectacular light show at night. The stadium’s historic façade has been maintained, however, as has the statue of Lenin outside, which greets visitors making their way to the arena.  

Luzhniki will host seven games at this summer’s tournament, including the opening game and final.

Games: Russia v Saudi Arabia, June 14; Germany v Mexico, June 17; Portugal v Morocco, June 20; Denmark v France, June 26; Round of 16, July 1; Semi-final, July 11; Final, July 15.

Spartak Stadium

City: Moscow

 

Capacity: 45,000

Located in the Tushino district of Moscow, Spartak Stadium is home to Russia’s most successful football club, Spartak Moscow. It opened in 2014, and hosted games at last summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup. The red and white cladding around the stadium matches the colors of its host team, and the statue of the gladiator Spartacus outside the ground also leaves visitors with no mistake as to who the tenants are. However, when the Russian national team play there, the façade can switch to a color scheme in keeping with the nation’s flag.  

It will host five games at the World Cup, including a mouthwatering opener between Argentina and Iceland on June 16. 

Games: Argentina v Iceland, June 16; Poland v Senegal, June 19; Belgium v Tunisia, June 23; Brazil v Serbia, June 27; Round of 16, July 3.

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