MOSCOW, August 23 (R-Sport) - Dynamo Moscow fans have lodged a protest with the Russian side about the design of their new VTB Arena home, which affords more seating to away fans than in the Western stands traditionally occupied by home supporters.
A 26,000-capacity stadium is part of a huge multipurpose sports complex known as the VTB Arena Park currently under construction in northwest Moscow in a project set to cost in excess of $800 million. It is slated to open in October 2017.
Dynamo bosses gave a presentation to representatives from two dozen of the club's various fan groups on Friday, when they announced away section would be nearly twice as big as the Western sector. It effectively means home fans will have to spread around the ground rather than congregate in their traditional corner.
"This doesn't score a goal with anyone," a supporter who identified himself only as Andrei told the club. "The project is changing, and you haven't met with the fans once. First of all, the Western tribune is a place that has housed Dynamo fans through the ages, and now you want to put us who knows where," he added.
That section of the ground under the Western stand is to be maintained from Dynamo's original constructivist stadium that dated back to 1928 before the rest of the arena was torn up.
Constructors insist it is too fragile to support the load of so many fans but on Friday vowed to examine the issue again.
The VTB Arena Park will also host a 15,000-capacity hockey and basketball arena as well as a shopping complex and parking and transport links. The project is being masterminded by the state-owned VTB bank, which owns Dynamo football club.
The VTB Arena was overlooked as a venue for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The games in Moscow will take place at Spartak Moscow's new arena, due for completion next year, and a refurbished Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the first match, a semifinal and the final.
Dynamo played their last match at the old stadium in 2008 and have been based in the Moscow suburb of Khimki ever since.
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