International: Redevelopment of Moscow Stadium Continues Despite Economy

Russian financial institution VTB Bank is continuing work on a large development project in the country's capital, in spite of its financial sanctions.
Dynamo Moscow Stadium  Arena

Russian financial institution VTB Bank is continuing work on a large development project in the Russian capital, in spite of a number of changes brought to the specifics of the project, as well as recent sanctions on the country’s economy. Brought on by the conflict with the Ukraine, financial sanctions have affected the Russian economy, with the country set to enter recession this year. However, VTB, a financial entity that is controlled by the Russian state is powering through changes brought to its VTB Arena Park project.

The $1.5 billion project includes the construction of a stadium and arena inside the rings of the old Dynamo Moscow stadium, a residential component, as well as commercial space. The project occupies 80 acres of space and consists of two main components, VTB Arena and VTB Park. VTB was not supposed to be the main developer, with the institution being involved with providing debt financing. Eventually, the company was forced to take control of the venture and created the entity known as MC Dynamo, and tasked it with handling development duties at VTB Arena Park. The project was designed by Manica Architecture of Kansas City.

The sports venue will take shape inside the rings of the old stadium, and will feature both a 26,319-seat stadium, and a 14,000-seat arena that will be able to host hockey and basketball games, as well as concerts. The rebuilt Dynamo Central stadium will also offer 733 parking spaces and will total roughly 323,000 square feet of space. The sports and leisure center created at the site has an opening date of Oct. 22, 2017, to honor the birthday of the best goalkeeper in FIFA history, Lev Yashin. The arena was initially supposed to accommodate far more seats, but its exclusion from Russia’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup has changed project’s specs. The old stadium, part of which will be preserved during the construction process, held its last game back in 2008, but economic issues brought on by the downturn, as well as the aforementioned planning troubles have dragged the project on for years.

VTB Park was originally thought up as a mostly commercial project, but the state of the world economy has left marks on the project in this respect, as well. While originally 70 percent of the 13 commercial buildings were meant to be occupied by commercial space, with the rest being designated as residential space, the proportion has since flipped due to commercial real estate’s status in Moscow slightly waning, and residential space growing in demand. The park will include the Hyatt Regency Moscow, Petrovsky Park, a 297-key hotel featuring a pool, spa, bars and restaurants, as well as a congress hall that can accommodate up to 700 seats.