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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, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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