Support The Moscow Times!

Fast-Track Proposal for World Cup Stadium Construction Binned

A construction worker at the Zenit stadium in St. Petersburg.

The Economic Development Ministry has shot down a proposal to start building stadiums for the 2018 football World Cup without waiting for the projects to be audited, preferring to risk missing construction deadlines rather than a repeat of Sochi Olympic-style cost overruns, Kommersant reported Monday.

Seven of Russia's 11 host cities need new venues, which could cost the state 100 billion rubles ($2.8 billion), and an unidentified government official said that only one audit — for the stadium project in Samara — has so far been completed.

In an effort to speed up the process, the Sports Ministry suggested amending a 2008 government decree that obliges all investment projects using state funds to be audited, Kommersant reported, citing a copy of the minutes for a recent meeting attended by Deputy Economic Development Minister Yevgenia Yelina.

The government, however, is anxious to avoid a repeat of what happened in Sochi — where construction costs for Winter Olympic venues spiraled to 1.5 trillion rubles (43 billion rubles), seven times higher than the original estimates — and the Economic Development Ministry insisted that the audits be carried out.    

The respective ministries have yet to officially comment on the outcome of the meeting.

See also:

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

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.