$612m tender announced to renovate Luzhniki Stadium

25 November 2013

The Russian government has put out a $612m tender to reconstruct Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, set to be the venue for the 2018 World Cup football final.

Work has already begun to rip out the seats at the arena, which was built in 1956.

It will be hollowed out and furnished with new stands, according to news agency RIA Novosti, via The Moscow Times. Only the outer shell is to be kept intact.

The winning contractor, to be announced 12 December, will have three and a half years to complete all necessary work.

Russia’s World Cup organisers initially put the costs of the refurbishment at $800m, but they later announced a more frugal approach. Original plans included a final capacity of 90,000 spectators.

The tender has been posted on the government’s procurement website,

Luzhniki’s last major event in its current form was August’s World Athletics Championships, while the last football match played there was a league game in May.

The stadium hosted athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics and is best known in footballing circles for holding the 2008 Champions League final, when Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties after extra time finished 1-1.

Luzhniki stadium during the 1980 Summer Olympics (Vladimir Rodionov/Wikimedia)

Russia’s programme to deliver infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup covers more than 300 facilities, including ICT infrastructure, energy supply systems, healthcare and communal infrastructure, according to FIFA.

In June 2013 the Russian parliament passed a law on the FIFA World Cup preparations that provides a legal basis for government guarantees concerning the work.

Also in June the first of the tournament’s 12 stadiums came on stream, in Kazan. It was expected to be hosting its first football matches by this month, November.

Construction work is expected to be completed at another 2018 arena, the "Fisht" Olympic stadium in Sochi. Spartak Moscow’s arena will be opening its doors to football fans by the summer of 2014, according to FIFA.

"I’m very pleased with the speed of the preparations that we’re seeing at the moment in Russia," FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke said at a meeting with the Russian organising committee on 29 October.

"FIFA currently has three World Cups on its agenda, and since the 2014 tournament in Brazil is just around the corner, it’s really important for us that Russia isn’t waiting until the whole world starts looking ahead to 2018, but is responsibly pressing on in all the key areas."

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