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Sports Minister Sets Out to Rectify World Cup 2018 Broken Deadlines

Published: March 13, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • The Zenit football stadium construction site on Krestovsky Island. Costs has already exceeded $1.1 billion.
    Photo: Florstein / Wiki Commons

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says he is alarmed by the slow pace of designing the countrys stadiums for the 2018 World Cup and threatened heads will roll if the situation is not rectified.

All but one of the 12 arenas needed for the tournament are being entirely or practically built from scratch in a project costing $20 billion, a figure that includes private sector contributions and the associated infrastructure. Seven remained at the design stage as of January.

If construction is yet to begin, the arenas should at least be well into the design phase, Mutko said. But the reality appears somewhat different.

Related: Sports Ministry to Oversee Stadium Construction for World Cup 2018

The pace of designing the stadiums gives cause for alarm, Mutko said at a meeting with regional leaders. Deadlines are being broken. There are problems in every region, he added.

Each of the 11 regions building stadiums is being given a 3.6 billion ruble ($100 million) subsidy to choose a location and finalize a stadium design, Mutko said.

Whoever is unable to do this, lets replace them at this early stage and everything will fall into place, he said. Our task is that the [stadium] concepts conform to FIFA standards.

Related: Fed Up FC Zenit Decide to Build Own Stadium

Three stadiums for the tournament are all but finished: the Kazan Arena, the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, and Spartak Moscows new home, the Otkritie Arena in the capital.

There have been high-profile problems with at least two others.

Zenit St. Petersburgs new arena has suffered several delays and spiraling costs to $1.1 billion in a case labeled disgraceful by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. A tentative opening is set for 2017, the same year the arena is slated to host the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Yekaterinburgs stadium, meanwhile, became embroiled in a political tussle in December after the city mayor, an opposition figure, demanded a completely new building rather than a revamp of its existing stadium.

Yevgeny Roizman told RIA Novosti that building a new arena elsewhere would be considerably cheaper than a $380 million plan to renovate the Central Stadium.

The venue for the opening game, a semifinal and the final, Moscows Luzhniki Stadium, is undergoing a complete refurbishment.

Mutko in January demanded that construction for all arenas start by the end of 2014.





 


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Thursday, July 24


Liliana Modiliani, a well-known Russian stylist, will talk about choosing clothes that fit during her lecture at 7 p.m. at the Pryamoy Efir art club, 13 Viborgskoe Shosse.



Friday, July 25


Discuss Russias economic and political prospects for 2014 during a Business Breakfast organized by SPIBA at 9.30 a.m. in the Bank Saint-Petersburg office at 64


Malookhtinsky Prospekt.


Start your weekend with adorable miniature pigs at the Squealing Pig festival at 7 p.m. this evening in the Karl & Friedrich restaurant, 15 Iozhnaya doroga, on Krestovsky Island.



Saturday, July 26


Hundreds of brand-new and retro cars, drag and drift shows, test drives and karting are planned for the Avtobum-2014 festival, which will take place in front of the RIO shopping center at 2 Fuchika Ulitsa.


Participants in todays SaniDay Summer competition will impress visitors with their hand-made, unusual and hilarious boats, which will race at the Igora Resort near the 54th kilometer on Priozerskoe Shosse.


Metro Family Day will include both serious lectures for adults and master-classes for children, making the event interesting for the whole family. To participate, come to Kirov Park on Yelagin Island.


Photography will be the focus of todays Photosubbota, which features lectures by famous photographers, meetings with photo schools and studio representatives, and participation in a photography competition. The event starts at noon at Petrokongress, 5 Lodeynopolskaya Ulitsa.


If you like cycling, make sure to visit the Za Velogorod Festival with its retro bike exhibition, market and live music. The second round of the Leningrad Criterium race will also take place during the event at Petrovsky Arsenal in Sestroretsk.



Sunday, July 27


Navy Day will be celebrated with a weapon and military transportation exhibition, self-defense master classes and concerts. The event starts at 1 p.m. in the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburg.



Monday, July 28


Dont miss a chance to see the latest achievements in robotics during the RoboDom interactive show, exhibiting more than 150 robots. The show will be at BUM center, 22/2 Gzhatskaya Ulitsa, until Aug. 3. The entrance ticket costs 350 rubles ($10).



Tuesday, July 29


A video of a Queen concert from 1986 will be shown today at 8 p.m. in Yaschik, 50/13 Ligovsky Prospekt.



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