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Google Earth Plug-in: Kirov Stadium, St. Petersburg

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SM Kirov Stadion is a multi-use stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is one of the largest stadiums anywhere in the world. The stadium is named after Sergey Kirov. It is currently used mostly for football matches.

The stands of the Kirov stadium are located on the slopes of a circular artificial mound in the western part of Krestovsky Island, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. The stadium was open on 30 July 1950 when Leningrad teams Zenit and Dynamo drew 1-1. Initially the stadium held 100,000 people (including 16,000 standing places).

For the match between Zenit and CDSA on 14 July 1951, additional temporary stands were installed, increasing the capacity of the stadium to 110,000. The stadium was sold out, and the attendance of 110,000 is the record for the Soviet football. Kirov stadium was reconstructed to hold preliminary matches of the football tournament at the 1980 Summer Olympics. The capacity was reduced to 72,000. In 2005 it was decided to demolish the stadium and build a new one in its place.

The Kirov stadium was the home to Zenit in 1950-1989 and 1992. On 6 July 2006 Zenit decided to play a match against Dynamo Moscow at the Kirov stadium because of unavailability of pitch at the Petrovsky Stadium, the new Zenit ground. The new Zenit Stadium will be build by Kisho Kurokawa. Part of the seats was already uninstalled because of planned deconstruction, so the match was visited by only 45,000 spectators despite the sold-out stadium.

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