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The Dynamo stadium
The Dynamo stadium
Boys’ Shortcut to the Dynamo — CDKA Football Match, 1946
Photo by Nikolay Volkov
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The Dynamo stadium

The Dynamo stadium

When going to the Dynamo — CDKA Football Match after the war, Nikolay Volkov probably did not plan on photographing anything besides the game. But when he saw the boys climbing the high fence of the Dynamo stadium, he immediately decided to photograph the moment.

First, the Dynamo sports society could not afford to build a designated stadium so starting from 1923 the athletes trained at a football field in the centre of Moscow. In 1926, they managed to find a spot for the stadium, the foundation was laid, and architects Arkady Langman and Lazar Cherikover began working on the project.

In the beginning, only the Dynamo fans and enthusiasts supported the construction coming to help out on weekends. In 1927, the party decided to hold an All-Union Spartakiad in honour of the 10th anniversary of Soviet rule, and the construction of the stadium became a priority for the State.

The Dynamo stadium in Moscow was completed and officially opened on August 17, 1928 with a match of the Spartakiad’s football tournament. The new stadium was the embodiment of the latest ideas in architecture. It combined the futurism of the avant-garde with the traditional sports and leisure arena. By the time of the opening, the stadium was shaped as a giant horseshoe half a kilometre long; the stands did not go all the way around the are arena, leaving the Eastern part open. The main Eastern facade in the form of a modern portico faced the Leningradsky Avenue and soon became iconic. The use of revised classical themes in the architecture of sports facilities was not uncommon in those years. People’s views on sport changed. Sport was associated with ancient Greek culture as well as the ancient cult of physical strength and beauty which influenced the architectural tendencies.

In addition to the football field and the stands, the stadium included three gymnasiums for gymnastics, boxing and wrestling, two shooting galleries, locker rooms, showers, doctors' offices, and staff rooms.

Dinamo Stadium Get callback
At the Dinamo Stadium Doors, 1940s
Photo by Nikolay Volkov

In 1929, the stadium got bicycle tracks but this proved unsuccessful: motorcyclists and cyclists interfered with other athletes, and the tracks were not steep enough to compete. As a result, in 1934-1936 the tracks were removed, more seats and areas for standing were added, and stands were built on the East side. These renovations allowed 70,000 to 80,000 people to be assembled at the stadium.

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Bicycle Tracks at the Dinamo Stadium, Bicyclists’ Parade, 1934
Photo by Nikolay Volkov

In 1938, a new underground station with the same name was opened in front of the stadium.

During the war years, the stadium housed a military training camp which was well disguised from air strikes. The first game took place only on July 18, 1944. It was the match between Dinamo and Torpedo (3:2). The first match in the time of peace was held on July 3, 1945 which was the beginning of the football boom in the USSR.

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The Game is at Dinamo Today, 1946
Photo by Nikolay Volkov

Today There’s a Match at Dynamo, 1946

In 1977-1979 the stadium was renovated for the 1980 Summer Olympics. Since the 1980s, it has hosted not only football tournaments, but also major concerts, including performers by Deep Purple and Michael Jackson. In 1999, a monument to the legendary Dynamo football player Lev Yashin, the best goalkeeper of the 20th century, was erected near the Northern Entrance. The Dynamo stadium became a significant sports building with arenas, tennis courts, swimming pools, the largest gymnasium in Europe, a roller rink and a covered track complex.

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At the Dinamo Stadium, 1957
Photo by Nikolay Volkov

The Dynamo stadium was not built according to FIFA standards so it underwent another large-scale reconstruction which began in 2008. The stadium was completely rebuilt, only the emblematic portico was preserved. A new sports facility called VTB Arena opened on November 27, 2018. Now a large sports arena for 26.300 people, a small sports arena (for hockey, boxing, basketball and mixed martial arts) and an entertainment centre are all under one roof. The football stadium was named after of Lev Yashin in memory of the history of the Dynamo football club.

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Who’s playing today?, 1956
Photo by Nikolay Volkov
Every minute of life is unique and valuable. Our photographs capture history and preserve it with care. To see how the interior works will look like, use the configurator. See in interior

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