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Latest Estimate Puts Zenit Stadium Construction at $1.1Bln

VedomostiConstruction of the venue is 8 years behind schedule and will cost nearly 5 times more than originally planned.

The cost of the stadium being built in St. Petersburg for the Zenit soccer team, which is slated to be one of the venues for the World Cup in 2018, is now at 34 billion rubles ($1.1 billion), a St. Petersburg city official said.

"This is the price we got, following three audits," said a spokesman for the city's construction committee, which has ordered the project.

The previous cost estimate of 43 billion rubles was announced in October of last year, but in December the city asked that the project and its price be reworked.

The arena under construction on Krestovsky Island since 2006 was to have been completed by 2008 at a price of 6.9 billion rubles, but the city added requirements, including a mechanical roof, retractable playing field and additional seating. The projected cost rose to 23.7 billion rubles. A new contractor, Transstroi, came on board in 2008 and offered to do the work for 13 billion rubles. But in 2011 city authorities announced that construction would cost 33 billion rubles.

In the fall last year, the city was ready to cancel the construction contract on the grounds of poor quality workmanship but decided for the sake of not delaying construction to extend Transstroi's contract by one year.

St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Marat Oganesyan said last week that construction would be completed by 2016. Following a third audit in January, the Audit Chamber said the facility was 34 percent complete and 14.4 billion rubles had been spent so far.

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