Vitaly Mutko, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of Russia, spoke at the ceremony. “Opening a new sports venue always triggers positive emotions and expectations. The goals set for the reconstruction of the Central Stadium have been accomplished”, the minister said.
The Central Stadium was built back in 1957. The renovation started in 2006 and cost 2.5 billion rubles (85 million US dollars). Now the stadium has the capacity of 27,000 seats. Over 30% of the seats are under the roof at the east and west stands.
“To host the national team and major European championships matches a stadium should have at least 37,000 seats, and 40,000 seats to host the FIFA World Cup. At the moment the stadium doesn’t meet the requirements. It is a work to be done in the next few years. Otherwise, the stadium meets all logistics and security standards. And it is very important to mention that the stadium is located in the city centre”, Mutko mentioned.
A match between the “Ural” Football Club and Moscow’s “Khimki” was played as part of the opening ceremony. The local “Ural” team won with a score of 5:2 – a fitting start for the upgraded stadium. The game gathered 25,500 spectators – an absolute record this season for the National Football League Championships.
This was not the only record set at the opening: an orchestra of 700 musicians and 41 conductors performed the FIFA anthem and scored an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
Central Stadium: facts and figures