Lotteries: how Luzhniki Stadium attracted viewers in 1958

January 9

Central Stadium named after V.I. Lenin (now the Luzhniki Olympic Complex) was built in the shortest possible time in 1956. It took only 450 days for the USSR to build the largest stadium with a capacity of 105 thousand people. However, two years later, attendance at sports and other events at the stadium dropped. The Moscow Glavarchiv (Moscow Main Archive Department) found information on how the authorities the situation and increased the interest of spectators in sports events.

In 1958, the number of fans at the stadium dropped — the organizers were unable to achieve the full stands, and the average attendance of football matches at the stadium was about 28 thousand spectators. Even an advertising campaign for sporting events of that time did not produce results.

Due to low attendance, it was not possible to fulfill the ticket sales plan. This directly affected the budget of the stadium and the organizations that held the competition there. In addition, financial difficulties also affected the state budget, which in the first half of 1958 missed taxes by 600 thousand rubles.

As a result, an alternative approach was developed. It was used even before the official decision of the Moscow City Council. So, the Central Stadium named after V.I. Lenin's regularly performed the instant ticket games with lottery prizes like inexpensive industrial goods.

The results were not long in coming. According to preliminary results, it turned out that the instant ticket games really contributed to the growth of the stadium attendance. It increased by an average of 13 thousand people and continued to grow. Interestingly, cheaper tickets were in great demand.

In addition, thanks to the instant ticket games, the gross income increased by approximately 130 thousand rubles, while the value of prizes for one instant ticket game ranged from seven to 15 thousand rubles.

As a result of such a successful move, the Moscow City Council in September 1958 allowed the stadium management to hold such instant ticket games during sports and entertainment events, and also established their total cost, which could only be exceeded with permission and in exceptional cases.

Everyone benefited from such innovations - Government, organizations that held the events, management of the stadium and the audience. The visitors could not only watch the victories of their favorite athletes, but also participate in instant ticket games.


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