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Nizhny Novgorod Stadium Design Nearly Complete

Andrey Arshavin, the famous Russian soccer player, holding a sign "Russia", as the owner of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Alexander Vilf

NIZHNY NOVGOROD — Work will begin on the 2018 World Cup arena in Nizhny Novgorod before the end of the year, a regional official said.

The design stage of the projected 45,000-seat stadium, to be built at the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers, is close to completion.

"A construction company will enter the construction site by the end of the year," the chief of Nizhny Novgorod's town planning department Alexander Bodrievsky said.

"After an expert review of the design, a tender will be opened to choose a construction company that will build the stadium well and inexpensively."

The project's estimated cost is put at around 12-14 billion rubles ($360-$420 million).

With four and a half years before the 2018 World Cup, only two of Russia's venues are ready, although both the Kazan Arena and Sochi Olympic Fisht Stadium are yet to stage their first official football matches. The next facility slated to open is Spartak Moscow's 45,000-seat arena, which is set for completion in July ready for the 2014-15 season.

Other host cities are just at the stadium design stage, including the planned rebuild of Moscow's vast Luzhniki Stadium, which will host the first match, a semifinal and the final.

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