Madonna switches to Moscow Olympic stadium

Moscow - Organisers on Monday switched the venue for US pop star Madonna's Moscow concert from a hilltop site overlooking the city to a Soviet-era stadium used in the 1980 Olympic Games because of crowd control fears.

Police said they feared up to 250 000 people may try to get into the concert - Madonna's first in Russia - which had space for only 35 000. They had wanted it switched to an airfield on the outskirts of Moscow.

After a weekend of talks with officials, organisers agreed to stage the show at the bigger Luzhniki stadium, built in the 1950s in parkland on the Moskva River. Spartak Moscow soccer club plays its home matches at the stadium.

"The concert is due to take place on September 12, at Luzhniki. If nothing extraordinary happens, I think everything will be okay," Vladimir Kiselyov, general director of the company organising the concert, said on Russia's Channel One television station.

The concert had originally been set for September 11.


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