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‘Russian football stadium for 2018 World Cup may cost more than $1 bn’

football stadium -St. PetersburgMoscow, March 23: A football stadium in the city of St. Petersburg may costin excess of $1 billion, Vadim Tyulpanov, head of the Russian Federation Council Committee in charge of preparations for the 2018 World Cup, said on Tuesday.

The St. Petersburg authorities had allocated funds from the city budget to build the 69,000-seat Zenit Arena with a movable roof and a pullout field, reports Tass. The construction got under way in the western part of Krestovsky Island in 2007. Though the project has been adjusted several times, December 2016 is the final deadline for completing the construction works.

“Financial expenditures are increasing, clearly because of the rising dollar rate, and that is creating additional expenses. But when the stadium is finished, it’s going to be the best in Russia. The stadium used to cost about a billion US dollars but the price must have gone much higher by now,” Tyulpanov said.

“We will go there (St. Petersburg) in May or June. The Confederations Cup situation will hopefully get clearer by that time.” He also expressed the hope that the stadium in St. Petersburg would be finished on time.

“The arena has no world analogues. It is the only stadium at the northern geographic level to have a pullout field and a movable roof. That creates additional complications. The city will host a Confederations Cup next year,” Tyulpanov added.

The authorities of St. Petersburg provided world governing body FIFA with guarantees that the Zenit Arena in Russia’s second largest city will be commissioned in due time. The 69,000-seat Zenit Arena is one of the 12 stadiums in 11 cities across Russia to host the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The estimated cost of the construction, which began in 2006, stands at 34.9 billion rubles (some $450 million). (IANS)

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