FIFA Agrees to Reduce Luzhniki Capacity for 2018 World Cup

August 8, 2013

FIFA has given permission for the seating capacity of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium to be reduced from 89,000 to 81,000 for the 2018 World Cup, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

In December FIFA announced the Luzhniki Stadium would host the opening match and the final of the 32-team tournament, as well as one of the two semi-finals.

The plans that had previously been approved were on the basis that the stadium would seat 89,000 spectators. In order to increase the capacity, redevelopment would have was set to begin following the World Athletics Championships, which begin in Moscow on Saturday. This would have forced the existing stadium to be demolished to make way for a new facility in its place.

FIFA’s approval of the new plan will avoid the costly building process and the Luzhniki now only requires minimal work to reach FIFA standards. It is believed to currently fall short in fan comfort, hospitality and media facilities.

Marat Khusnullin, Moscow’s acting deputy mayor, said: “This means that Luzhniki will be saved.”