NIZHNY NOVGOROD, May 13. /TASS/. The construction of a stadium in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, selected as one of the country’s venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, will be completed two months ahead of the scheduled date, the governor of the region said on Wednesday.
"The stadium’s ahead-of-the-schedule construction will allow us to focus on higher quality preparations for hosting the matches of the international football championship," Valery Shantsev, the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, told journalists.
The governor added that the deadline of the stadium’s construction was rescheduled and would be "completed not in November of 2017, as it was initially planned, but in September of 2017."
The stadium in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, which is one of a hundred of world cities included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, will be located in the Strelka district and will bear the name of the Volga Arena.
The Nizhny Novgorod administration reported earlier that the regional preparations for the 2018 World Cup matches would require a total of 77.6 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) with 19 billion rubles ($388 million) of the overall sum allocated from the federal budget for the construction of the Volga Arena, a new Customs Service’s building, reconstruction of the Dinamo stadium as well as the upgrading of the local airport’s landing stripe.
Additional 58.6 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) will be channeled via the regional financing program for the construction of 50 more sports facilities, which include housing and training sites, reconstruction of the local airport and the construction of a new subway station.
Russia’s ruble slumped to a record low of 80 rubles to the dollar in mid-December, compared to an average of 38 rubles in September last year. The Russian currency currently stands at little over 49 rubles to the dollar. It was traded at 33 rubles to the dollar at the start of 2014.
The total budget of 664.1 billion rubles for the organization of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was announced in 2012. This figure stood at $20.5 billion based on the 2012 average exchange rate. If converted to the current exchange rate, this figure drops to $13.6 billion.
Russia is in its full-swing preparations for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition will be held on July 25 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg with a total of 208 nations having signed up for the participation in the event.
It will be for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the Preliminary Draw. Russia as the hosting nation automatically qualified for the championship and therefore is not taking part in the preliminary competition.
The first major kick-start event of the 2018 World Cup will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.