Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has called on St. Petersburg authorities to "demonstrate will" and finish the construction of a new football stadium by 2017, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.
"The governor in St. Petersburg must demonstrate will and finish the construction of the stadium; I believe it will be done," Mutko said at a press breakfast held by the organizing committee for the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Russia in 2018.
Mutko added that work on the new stadium was under way and promised strict control over construction deadlines. "It is out of the question that St. Petersburg will miss the deadline," the minister said.
Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan are set to host the Confederation Cup in 2017, one year before the World Cup is held in Russia.
Construction of the new stadium, which will be the new home for the Zenit St. Petersburg football club, began in Russia's second city in 2007, but work was interrupted several times due to skyrocketing costs.
St. Petersburg's legislative assembly announced Monday that the stadium's final price tag will be 37.7 billion rubles ($1.2 billion), making it one of the most expensive in the world, according to Lenta.ru.