Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, the venue scheduled to host the opening game and the final of football’s Fifa World Cup in Russia next year, is “all but ready” for the event, according to Fifa.
The sport’s global governing body noted that the main construction work at the new facility is complete, with “virtually all” of the seating having been installed. Finishing touches are now being made to the interior of the venue, which will have a capacity of 81,000, up from 78,000.
The stadium’s grass, which was fitted in August last year, has survived the Russian winter after being heated by special lamps that provide an alternative to natural light. Enormous wheeled structures are able to bathe the majority of the pitch in light and warmth to ensure it remains in good condition.
As part of the renovation, the Luzhniki’s stands have been moved as close to the pitch as possible and modified so that their incline is lower-pitched. The stadium’s roof will also be turned into a giant screen to broadcast matches once all work is finished.
“We will continue our improvement works in April,” Moscow’s Deputy Mayor, Marat Khusnullin, who is responsible for construction and urban policy matters, said. “In the future, we will need to put up temporary structures around the complex that are needed to host the World Cup: media areas, fan zones, VIP zones and places to unload multimedia equipment.”