Dynamo Plans $100M Stadium Work

Itar-TassDynamo's new main sponsor, billionaire Alisher Usmanov, holding up a team jersey for the media on Wednesday.
Dynamo Moscow announced Wednesday that the major revamp of its stadium, to be funded partly by the club's new main sponsor, Alisher Usmanov, would cost "more than $100 million."

Yury Isayev, deputy head of the club's advisory board, told reporters that more precise figures for the renovations would be available toward the end of the year, when construction is set to begin, RIA-Novosti reported.

Usmanov was also on hand to announce that Metalloinvest, a company he controls, had agreed to sponsor Dynamo this year, according to a statement on the team's web site. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Dynamo general director Dmitry Ivanov said the sides were already looking at prolonging the sponsorship.

The team also released a budget of $41 million for 2008, which sees a total of $7.3 million in revenue from sponsorships and business activity, the statement said. Svyazinvest, the country's national fixed-line phone monopoly, was also listed as a sponsor.

"We will begin reconstruction of the stadium in its 80th year," said Audit Chamber chief Sergei Stepashin, who heads the football club's advisory board.

"As a basis for the development of our club, we're looking to Barcelona, whose leadership I've met a number of times, and Real Madrid," he added.

Usmanov, whose Red and White Holdings controls a 24 percent stake in English Premier League leaders Arsenal, was gushing in his praise for Dynamo, which he called his "first love."

He fondly recalled his earliest visits to the stadium, in 1963, when "Lev Yashin was shining in the goal and Viktor Tsarayev was flawless in defense."

"I love football and I love Dynamo. This is not the first year of our cooperation with Dynamo, and I hope that our partnership will be long and successful," Usmanov added, without elaborating.