MOSCOW, July 03. /ITAR-TASS/. After the success of the Winter Olympics in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia began preparations to FIFA World Cup which the country will host from June 8 to July 8, 2018. Stadiums of 11 main Russian cities in the central part of the country, north-western and southern Russia, the Volga region and Ural mountainous region will host matches at the World Cup Finals. So, all sport facilities and infrastructure sites will be built or reconstructed with due account of their further use after the tournament as it was the case with Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Final estimated costs of preparations to the World Cup are set at $19.5 billion, with one half of these financial resources allocated from the federal budget and investments making another half of funds. After the end of the FIFA World Cup facilities will be in state or municipal property.
The February Winter Olympics in Sochi were funded according to the same scheme with final budget of $45.3 billion. These competitions promoted booming development of interregional sport, social, transport and road infrastructure. Preparations to the next FIFA World Cup are also determined by principles of expediency in Russia. Notably, Federal Road Agency allocates more than $700 million for reconstruction of regional and local roads, particularly money will be channelled to Mordovia, Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov and Samara Regions.
The largest infrastructure projects in preparation to the global football competition will be the reconstruction of the road network, construction of stadiums, city highways and flying junctions. Accounts Chamber and Presidential Control Directorate are supervising the use of monetary funds. Funding will be made from money saved in preparation to the Sochi Olympics. After the World Cup 2018, facilities will be used under Russian mass sport development programs, including, for instance, fulfilment of physical culture training program in Russian constituent entities, events in Sport For All movement and support of local sport clubs.
Following an official ceremony held in September 2012 and attended by FIFA President Joseph Blatter, Russia eventually selected 11 out of the earlier proposed 13 cities, excluding Krasnodar and Yaroslavl. The final list of the 2018 World Cup host cities includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The Russian sports minister said on June 28, 2014, that three of the selected cities currently lacked the necessary infrastructure for housing guests and football fans.
“There are not enough hotel rooms for hosting guests in Saransk, Volgograd and Kaliningrad,” Mutko said. “We have set the task of providing football fans with housing.”
Speaking particularly about Central Russia's city of Saransk, which is also the smallest among the rest of 11, Mutko said the city was about to introduce changes to its initial project on facilities construction for the World Cup.
“The draft project initially envisaged a 20,000-capacity stadium, while for the World Cup we need a stadium seating 45,000,” Mutko said adding, however, that “so far there is no threat of disruptions (in the construction).”
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup a little over three years ago in a tight race against a bid from England, the joint bid of Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.