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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.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 24


AmChams Human Resources Committee meets this morning to discuss Labor Market Trends in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha. The meeting begins at 9 a.m.



Thursday, Sept. 25


Learn more about tax controls on prices at AmChams Taxation Committee Round Table Meeting this morning at 9 a.m. Vladimir I Golishevsky, Acting Head of the Transfer Pricing Department of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, will be in attendance to discuss amendments to the Russian Tax Code. Register in advance if you wish to attend by emailing all@spb.amcham.ru.


Today is the last day to check out Inventing Everyday Life. Part III: Street exhibition one of Manifestas parallel programs on at 36 Morisa Toreza Prospekt until 8 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 26


Feel yourself Spanish for a little bit at Spain Day, a celebration of all things Iberian this evening at the Derzhavin Mansion in the city center. Speak Spanish during the open classes, practice your footwork on the dance floor to the sounds of flamenco music or chow down on paella while learning more about the countrys culture.



Saturday, Sept. 27


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg welcomes Vityaz from the Moscow region this afternoon at 5 p.m. in a Western Conference showdown. Tickets are still available to the match and can be purchased on the teams website, at the arena or in their merchandise shop on Nevsky Prospekt.


Let Biblioteka restaurant on Nevsky Prospekt teach your children how to be proper gentlemen and ladies during Etiquette for Children, a class for children five to 11 years of age that promises to help them become the cream of society. The class starts at 5 p.m. and costs 600 rubles ($15.60). Call 322 2526 to reserve a spot for your child.



Sunday, Sept. 28


For something different, head to the African Pride Event being held by Nicks Walkabout Tours, who have also helped bring African tribal leaders for the celebration. Check Vkontakte for more information.



Monday, Sept. 29


Experience Baltic culture through the medium of drama during the Baltic House Theater Festival, which starts on Sept. 25 and continues through Oct. 13. Not only are some of the regions most famous dramatic works planned for production but the event acts as a creative laboratory for a future generation of dramatists. Check the events website for more details about the festival.



Tuesday, Sept. 30


Local neo-pagans invite all worshipers to the dedication of a new Heart Tree in Sosnovka Park, Gods Wood. 4 p.m.


The second MIFIC Expo begins today at Lenexpo, providing an interactive platform for industry experts and manufacturers. Accessories, surfaces and interior decoration materials are just some of the things that will be available for perusal at the expo, which runs through Oct. 2.



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