Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Zenit Stadium Contract Likely to Be Extended

The St. Petersburg city administration is likely to extend a contract to build the 35 billion ruble ($1.09 billion) stadium for the 2018 World Cup with billionaire Oleg Deripaska's Transstroi after it expires this year, governor Georgy Poltavchenko said.

The city authorities are considering two options — prolonging the existing contract or announcing a tender to select a new developer, Poltavchenko said after visiting the site Saturday. The latter will inevitably lead to delays in construction works, he added.

"Any tender means a delay for a year at least, but we can't suspend construction," he said, according to a statement on the Smolny website. He also praised the current pace of work at the site and pointed out that the construction costs of Zenit-Arena, as the stadium is called, might be further reduced by leaving the interior design of the stadium's commercial space to future tenants.

The facility will also get surrounding infrastructure, with a new metro station — Novokrestovskaya — to be built nearby, Poltavchenko said.

The controversial project launched in 2007 made headlines last year after its construction costs jumped from the initial 6.7 billion rubles to 44 billion rubles — an increase that Transstroi attributed to expensive technologies being implemented in the stadium.

The St. Petersburg authorities claimed at that time that the city would terminate the contract with Transstroi before the expiration date if no agreement on cost optimization were reached.

The budget for the stadium, which is expected to be completed by 2015 and become the home field for local football club Zenit, was later revised to 34.9 billion rubles.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more