Luzhniki Stadium reconstruction almost completed
The major reconstruction of Luzhniki Olympic Complex, which started in 2014, has almost been completed. In November, the renewed arena will host its first match, and in a year it will become the main venue of the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament.
The decision to build Luzhniki Stadium (before 1992 — the Grand Sports Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium) was taken at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on 23 December 1954. The Moscow Central Stadium was built in 450 days—the record for construction period of facilities of that type. On Sunday, 31 July 1956, the country’s main arena was opened with celebrations.
The first major competition held there was the I Spartakiad of Peoples of the USSR. In 1957, the stadium hosted the opening ceremony of the VI World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow. In 1980 the Summer Olympic Games were held there. The mascot of the games was the Russian Bear (Misha) with Olympic symbols, which was launched into the sky with balloons on the first and last day of the Games.
After the Olympic Games, the stadium continued to be the main sport facility in the Union and hosted lots of major sporting events. In 1996-1997 Luzhniki Stadium was reconstructed for the first time—a roof was built over the arena. The new large-scale reconstruction of the stadium began in 2014. Now two and a half thousand people are working there day and night. All work is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of this year, in May. Luzhniki Complex is going to turn into an ultramodern stadium that satisfies all the requirements of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.