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St. Petersburg's Milonov Wants to Name Zenit Football Stadium 'Putin'

Vitaly Milonov ants to name football club Zenit's new stadium the "Putin Arena".

Conservative St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov has proposed naming the city's new football stadium after its highest-ranking native son, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Milonov, the brains behind the St.Petersburg version of what later became Russia's so-called gay propaganda law, wants to name football club Zenit's new stadium the "Putin Arena" when it opens in 2016, Itar-Tass reported.

The city lawmaker praised Putin's role in supporting sports in Russia and said naming the arena after the president would make it "a monument to the epic that the country is currently living through, a symbol embodying the spirit of the times in modern Russia."

Putin, a self-professed Zenit fan, may not end up seeing his name on the new stadium, however, as the stadium might be christened after Gazprom, the state-owned St. Petersburg-based gas company that sponsors Zenit.

Formerly known as the Kirov Stadium, the new sports palace, under construction since 2007, was originally thought to cost $193 million before the figure jumped up to $1.2 billion and was then lowered to around $1 billion.

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