Russia is still a breeding ground for world-class skaters, though the top Russian names now train in North America or Europe. The local, regional, and international championships held here showcase some stars-in-waiting, and you might even glimpse a future Olympic medalist. Most tournaments are in January or February in the Olimpiisky Stadium; check the Russian Figure Skating Federation website (www.goldskate.ru) or the International Skating Union (www.isu.com) for schedules.
Russians are among the world's best practitioners of hockey, which is no surprise given their nation's icy latitude. Many NHL stars have come back to play with their home teams -- or coach them -- which has boosted the level of play after the rough and cash-poor 1990s. Sponsorship from Russia's flush oil corporations has also helped. Check The Moscow Times (www.themoscowtimes.com) or the Russian Hockey Federation (www.russianhockey.net) for Russian or European championship matches, or for season matches involving CSKA (Red Army) or Dinamo, Moscow's premier clubs. Crowds at the CSKA Sports Complex can be rowdy, especially for evening matches or highly sensitive standoffs, such as Russia and Ukraine. Join in the fun and keep a low profile, and you should have no trouble. Tickets are sold at theater kiosks around town. Chances of getting tickets for a big championship match at the stadium are slim, unless you resort to scalpers. For smaller matches it's easy to show up and purchase tickets; prices can be as low as 75 rubles. Advance tickets are also available at theater kiosks around town. See below for complete address and contact information for the CSKA arena.
Soccer actually beats out hockey as Russians' favorite sport. Any Muscovite you meet can fill you in on the standings of their home teams, CSKA, Dinamo, Spartak, and of course the national team. Hotel employees can often help you get tickets. The season for local matches runs March to November. Tickets for major international matches are bought up by speculators and not available at the stadium the day of the game, but any other match is easy to get into on the spur of the moment for just a few dollars. Theater kiosks around town also sell advance tickets to the bigger events. The main stadium is are Luzhniki Sports Complex (avoid sections B and D, where the roughest fans gather). Dinamo Stadium is closed for renovations. See below for complete address and contact information for the stadiums. See www.uefa.com for upcoming European League matches in Moscow.
Russian names have packed the rosters of the world's top tennis tournaments in recent years, with the women especially dominating the sport. Moscow's Kremlin Cup, held every October at Olimpiisky Stadium, has become a big international tournament, and Moscow frequently hosts the Davis Cup as well. Tickets for these events are available online at www.kremlincup.ru or www.daviscup.com. Theater kiosks around town also sell tickets, though you must purchase them well in advance. Matches are held at the following venues:
- Luzhniki Sports Complex, 24 Luzhniki Ulitsa. tel. 495/785-9717. www.luzhniki.ru. Metro: Sportivnaya.
- CSKA (Red Army) Sports Complex, 39a Leningradsky Prospekt. tel. 495/613-2288. Metro: Aeroport.
- Olimpiisky Sports Complex, 16 Olimpiisky Prospekt. tel. 495/688-1533. Metro: Prospekt Mira.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.