RZD Arena: Locomotiv Moscow

Ulitsa Bol'shaya Cherkizovskaya, 125 строение 1, Moskva, Russia, 107553
Marina Lystseva [GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Lokomotiv Moscow are, as the name suggests, based in the Russian capital of Moscow. Founded as Moskovskaya-Kazanskaya Zh.D in 1922, the club brought the best players of the Moscow railway system together to make a strong team in 1924. That, unsurprisingly, is where the ‘Lokomotiv’ part of the club’s title comes from, which it took on in 1936. Lokomotiv have enjoyed an up and down history in terms of the club’s footballing success, winning the likes of the Russian top-flight and the Russian Cup a number of times over the years.

Lokomotiv Moscow have been based in the RZD Arena since it opened in 2002, when it was known as the Lokomotiv Stadium. It is built on the site of the Stalinist Stadium, which opened in 1935 and was nocked down in the 1960s to make way for the Lokomotiv Stadium. That opened in 1966 and was used until the end of the 1990s, at which point it was decided that the stadium should be demolished to make way for a more modern venue. That’s when the current ground was built and has been in use since.

Stats

RZD Arena Stats
Year Opened2002
Capacity27,320
Average Attendance12,508
Record Attendance26,109 (Lokomotiv Moscow v Zenit Saint Petersburg (05/05/2018))
Pitch Size104 x 68 (7072)
NicknameLokomotiv Stadium
Former NameLokomotiv Stadium
OwnerRussian Railways
SponsorRZD
Clubs HostedFC Lokomotiv Moscow, Russian National Team
First FixtureLokomotiv Moscow v Uralan Elista (2002)
Lokomotiv Moscow Stats
Year Founded1922
NicknameLoko, Parovozy (Steam Locomotives)
RivalsSpartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow
Previous StadiumsStalinist Stadium, Lokomotiv Stadium
KitGreen & Red (Home) / White & Green (Away) / Grey & Red (Third)
Shirt SponsorRussian Railways
Team OwnerRussian Railways
Record GoalscorerDmitri Loskov (128)
Record AppearancesDmitri Loskov (421)

RZD Arena Photos

RZD Arena Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Lokomotiv stadium panorama - Amirtei [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The RZD Arena is built in a bowl style of continuous seating, though there are still four distinct sides to it. The South Stand and North Stand are located behind the goals, whilst the East and West Stands run along the side of the pitch. The West Stand is considered to be the ‘main’ stand in the stadium and contains the VIP seating area.

Lokomotiv Moscow Ticket Prices

Tickets are typically broken down into two price categories depending on the level of opposition. The cheapest tickets start at around 250 rubles, with the more expensive matches seeing ticket prices rise as high as 1,200 rubles.

How To Get Lokomotiv Moscow Tickets

As with most modern clubs, the best place to start is by looking online and at the club’s official website. That being said, games rarely, if ever, sell out, so you’ll almost certainly be able to buy tickets at the ground on the day of the match.

Where to Buy

Getting To RZD Arena

Train - Obviously travelling to Russia itself via train from the UK is an arduous task, so you’re much better off getting there by other means and then making your way to the stadium once you’re in Moscow. Unsurprisingly, a club named in honour of railway workers has decent links for train, with Cherkizovskaya being the closest station. It’s on the red metro line and is about 20 minutes from central Moscow stations.

Bus - Plenty of busses stop close to the ground, with bus numbers 449, 469 and 469k being examples.

Car - The stadium is located on the Bolshaya Cherkizovskaya, which is between the MKAD ring road and the third ring road of Moscow.

By Air - There are a number of airports that serve Moscow, with Sheremetyevo - A.S. Pushkin International Airport being the one that you’ll almost certainly be heading to for RZD Arena.

Taxi - If you were to get a taxi from Red Square out to the stadium it would cost you in the region of 285.00 руб and take around 40 minutes to complete its journey.

Parking Near RZD Arena

There is not much parking in the vicinity of the stadium.

Useful Resources

RZD Arena Hotels

Vega Izmailovo Hotel - £40+

Izmailovskoe Avenue 71, Building 3, 105613
Connected to the nearby convention centre, this is a good hotel for anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Moscow that wants to enjoy a more sedentary lifestyle thanks to the business folk that tend to stay here. With nearly 1,000 rooms, 2 restaurants on-site and a 24-hour fitness centre, it’s entirely appropriate to refer to this as a behemoth of a hotel. There’s a conference centre and free Wi-Fi, so if you’re there during business hours yourself then you’ll be fine to get some work done. There’s also parking available, should you be hiring a car. More details.

Holiday Inn Moscow Sokolniki - £50+

Rusakovskaya Ulitsa 24, 107014
Sometimes it’s nice to stay in a chain hotel when you’re in a foreign city because it makes you feel at home. If that’s the sort of thing that you like to do then the Holiday Inn in Moscow Sokolniki is definitely a good choice. With its health club, indoor pool and 500+ rooms, it’s a decent spec for anyone with family looking for somewhere to stay. There’s a restaurant and bar here, as well as self-parking and free Wi-Fi. If you want to do some working out then the gym in the health club is well-stocked, whilst the fact that you can get breakfast in the hotel is helpful. More details.

Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya - £70+

Kalanchevskaya Street 21/40, 107078
Another chain hotel that is available to you is the Hilton. Their Moscow Leningradskaya offering is located close to the Bolshoi Theatre, should you wish to combine your desire to watch football with some culture. The hotel itself contains a restaurant and bar, a fitness centre with a swimming pool and a computer centre. There’s free Wi-Fi if you’ve got your own computer or tablet with you, to say nothing of of the 24-business centre. Given that there are just shy of 300 rooms available, you’d be unlucky if you failed to get booked in here as long as you try to book far enough in advance. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near RZD Arena

Bobby Dazzler

Kostyanskiy Pereulok, 7, 107045 (+7 495 608-03-83)
The best place to head for a drink and the chance to watch a bit of live sport is into the centre of Moscow, with the Bobby Dazzler being like a home-from-home for English people in the Russian capital. The good thing about this place is the TVs don’t overwhelm you, instead being slightly more sparse around the venue. You can get a nice drink, some decent food and follow a match or other sporting occasion without feeling as though the entire place is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of it.

Hooters

Zlatoustinskiy Bol'shoy Pereulok, 9, 101000 (+7 495 434-84-83)
Anyone who has ever been to one of the Hooters venues elsewhere in the world will know exactly what to expect here. The women servers will be wearing very little, there will be sports on every screen around the place and the beers will be flowing. Add to that the food is American-themed and includes the likes of chicken wings and burgers and you can see why many people think it’s akin to paradise. It’s in a decent location and is the ideal venue to head to watch some sport on big screens.

Sports-bar Doping

Sirenevyy Bul'var, 32, 105264 (+7 495 465-50-59)
Doping might not be the best name for a sports bar in Moscow given some of the accusations made about Russian sports stars in recent years, but don’t let that put you off. It’s got a curious feel to it that is part American diner, part Russian canteen. The food is also an interesting cross between typical pub grub and slightly more nouveau cuisine offerings with a Russian twist. There’s plenty of sports memorabilia on the walls and a decent number of TVs around the place, so if you’re keen on watching some live sport whilst enjoying a pint of something cold and some interesting food then this is the place for you.

Facilities

Being a relatively new stadium, the RZD Arena’s facilities are impressive. Perhaps not as exciting as the sort of thing you might expect to see at a modern Premier League ground, but decent by Russian standards.

Hospitality

Валерий Дед [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As mentioned, the West Stand is where the VIP sections are, with three different levels on offer to those of you that would like to watch the match in style.

Private Hire

As with the vast majority of modern stadia, the RZD Arena makes money when there aren’t any football matches on by hiring out sections of the stadium to businesses and people who might want to use the facilities.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Tours of the RZD Arena take in the likes of the dressing rooms, the player’s tunnel, the President’s office and the pitch. You can also tour the museum as part of the tour, or you can have a look around that without doing a tour. They normally run on Saturdays and Sundays and if there’s a match on then the tour will take place 3 hours before kick-off.

About Lokomotiv Moscow

Locomotiv Moscow Old Stadium 1931 - https://www.fclm.ru/ru/history/1922 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

FC Lokomotiv Moskva, better known as Lokomotiv Moscow to English speakers, was created in 1922 and during the Communist era was part of the Lokomotiv Voluntary Sports Society. It was owned by the Soviet Ministry for Transport and operated through the Russian Railways. When the first two seasonal championships were played in spring and autumn of 1936 the club finished 5th and then 4th, but won the Soviet Cup in its inaugural year. In the years that followed, the club won the national championship on a fairly consistent basis, with performances only really starting to suffer in the post-war years. That included a relation to the Soviet First League on two occasions.

Perhaps one of the most important things for Lokomotiv Moscow, if not Russian football in general, was the decision in the 1950s to make the club something of an ambassador for the sport. It wasn’t all that common for Russian teams to play teams from foreign countries, but Lokomotiv often took part in friendly matches outside of Russia. When the Soviet Union fell Lokomotiv Moscow was considered to be one of the weaker clubs based in the nation’s capital. Eventually, though, the club began to fight back and some memorable European Cup campaigns allowed them to gain the reputation as being a tricky club to play that maintains today.

RZD Arena History

Алексей Решетников [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The history of the RZD Arena as it currently is is lacking in any real depth for the simple reason that it was only opened in 2002 and is therefore relatively new. Indeed it was one of the news stadia in Russia prior to the development of a host of new grounds prior to Russia’s hosting of the World Cup in 2018. The history of the site that the ground is built on is far more entertaining, though, thanks to the fact that more than one stadium has existed on it before now. The first was the Stalinist Stadium, which was built in 1935 by workers of the electric union, who decided to build a ground that was capable of holding around 30,000 people.

The Stalinist Stadium was used for a number of important matches, quickly becoming established as one of the key football grounds in the capital. It was at that point that it was decided that a more modern stadium should be built on the same location, with the first Lokomotiv Stadium opening its doors on the 17th of August in 1966. In the mid-1990s the stadium’s capacity ended up being reduced from 30,000 to 24,000 when the wooden benches that had been in use previously were replaced by plastic seating. It was decided that the stadium needed modernising, so it was once again knocked down and re-built with the backing of the Russian Transport Ministry, creating the ground that you’re able to visit today.

Future Developments

At the time of writing there are no planned changes to be made to RZD Arena. It’s likely that this is because of its relative youth and the fact that newer, more exciting stadiums exist in Russia since the nation hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It’s therefore probable that the Lokomotiv Moscow board has decided that trying to compete with those stadia is impossible without major investment.

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