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Russia 2018: 12 fun facts about opening ceremony, venue

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This 360 photo image (equirectangular panorama) taken on May 23, 2018 shows a general view of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV /

The opening ceremony and the first match of the tournament will take place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which has been specially constructed for the competition. The Luzhniki stadium will host 7 world cup matches including opening and final. It’s Russia’s biggest and national stadium hosted in a sports complex.

Here are 12 facts about the venue and opening ceremony.

  1. The metro lawn is made from 410kgs of seed brought by British. It took 18 months to grow. Only 20 stadia in the world have same seed including Emirates, Wembley and Stamford bridge
  2. Because of the stadium’s hybrid of natural grass and synthetic reinforcement, the stadium can take up to eight hours of non-stop football.
  3. The stadium is the 10th largest football stadium in Europe. Although it has witnessed four reconstructions which reduced its capacity from 100,000 to current 81,000 with 2 tiers of seating with VIP in-between.
  4. Because of Moscow’s weather, there’s 35km of pipe, heating, ventilation engineered underneath the grass-covered areas of the stadium.
  5. Field temperature is kept at 15 degrees Celsius all year round (Russia is cold most part of the year with temperature dipping as low as -8 degrees and hardly warmer than 19 degrees in summer)
  6. The stadium has seats that can support up to 180kg weight, 300kg support seat available for overweight, 400 seats for those with impaired hearing and vision and 103 VIP rooms and each has 15-20 seats. One can only buy the room. Room has private kitchen, toilet, entrance, tickets and even parking. It’s on the 4th floor.
  7. The stadium was the venue for the 2008 Champions League final, where Manchester United beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout.
  8. Because of World Cup, the original stadium was demolished in 2013 to give way for the construction of a new stadium which was completed in 2017.
  9. Apart from been the venue for the opening game, it is also the venue for the final. The stadium will then join Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Munich’s Olympiastadion, Saint Denis’ Stade de France and London’s old Wembley Stadium as the only stadiums to have hosted the finals of the FIFA World Cup, UEFA’s European Cup/Champions League and featured as a main stadium of the Summer Olympic Games.
  10. UK pop star Robbie Williams, American Actor Will Smith and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina will perform at the opening ceremony, while the World Cup trophy will be presented by Brazil icon and two-time world champion Ronaldo.
  11. Concurrently, there will be another concert occurring at the Red Square in Moscow where stars such as Placido Dominguez and Juan Diego Flores will perform.
  12. Russia 2018 official mascot is a wolf called Zabivaka, which means ‘the one who scores’. He has his private dressing room within the stadium. The only other person who does is the FIFA president.

 


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