MOSCOW, February 19 (R-Sport) - Spartak Moscow have sold the naming rights to their new stadium to a financial firm, meaning it will be called the Otkritie Arena, the Russian side's owner said Tuesday.
The 44,000-seater stadium, one of the 2018 World Cup venues, will bear the name for six years, the length of a $40 million sponsorship agreement between the Otkritie bank and the nine-time Russian champions.
“The new stadium will cost the club about $500 million so we had to pay high taxes. We are happy that the Otkritie bank helped us financially," Spartak owner Leonid Fedun said in a website statement.
The arena had been provisionally known as the Spartak Stadium. The club follow rivals Dynamo Moscow in selling naming rights to financial firms, after Dynamo named their new home the VTB-Arena after the VTB bank.
The stadium is to open in May 2014 after construction delays, and Fedun said the stadium was "80 percent ready."
Under the contract, Spartak will get $40 million over six years that will be invested in the club's infrastructure, training base, academy, programs for ex-players and children’s football.
“This deal is very important for the club, especially in light of financial fair play policy introduced by the UEFA,” Fedun was quoted as saying on the club website.
“In connection with this, our own stadium with adjacent infrastructure is the cornerstone to bring the financial fair play idea to life.”
Spartak will name the stands after their founders, the Starostin brothers, and erecting sculptures of football stars from bygone eras around the venue.
On Monday, Fedun denied claims the stadium would be painted in Otkritie's blue and white color scheme - the colors of fierce rivals Dynamo. It will be in Spartak's red and white, he insisted.
The stadium is one of 12 host arenas for the 2018 World Cup.The Spartak stadium will also host matches at the 2017 Confederations Cup, a key World Cup test event.
A new station on Moscow's underground rail network is being built nearby to serve the stadium.