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Russia Offers Fans Free Ground Travel for 2018 World Cup

Published: June 16, 2014 (Issue # 1815)




  • Photo: Marti / Flickr

RIO DE JANERO Fans with game tickets will be offered free ground transportation between host cities at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"Free travel is a guarantee which we signed at the highest level during our bid," Alexey Sorokin, head of the organizing committee, said Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

He said the free travel would be by train or bus. Though games will be played only in the western part of Russia, it still could mean some long trips.

Travel has been challenging and expensive at the last three major football tournaments, including this World Cup in Brazil, the 2012 European championship, and South Africa's 2010 World Cup.

"We'll come up with a very complicated system of using tickets to the game as tickets to a certain means of transportation," Sorokin said.

Russia will use 11 cities and 12 stadium venues ranging from St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the north to Sochi in the south and Yekaterinburg in the east.

Sorokin acknowledged he had never traveled vast distances on a bus or train in Russia. He estimated a train trip between Moscow and Sochi would be about 18 hours. He said several high-speed trains were currently operating in Russia, and said more might be ready in four years.

"We'll see how it will be implemented and what might be in time for the World Cup," he said.

Sorokin said Russian organizers proposed to FIFA that teams play their three group games in two adjoining clusters of venues, which would eliminate the kind of country-wide travel prevalent in Brazil. He said no times for starting matches had been proposed yet to FIFA.

Sorokin also said hotel prices would be controlled, which is something Brazil has been unable to manage.

"The Russian government has the power to manage hotel prices once it sees that the situation is getting out of control," Sorokin said. "We used that in Sochi and we will use that in the World Cup."

Sorokin deflected questions about Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. He said tourists would be "well informed and not afraid to come" to Russia.

"Tourists will come to Russia to see the World Cup matches," he said. "They will not come to discuss political developments, which by then will all be in the past."





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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