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ST PETERSBURG, February 11. /TASS/. Final cost of the Zenit Arena stadium in St. Petersburg has totaled approximately 43 billion rubles ($738 mln), the city's Vice-Governor Igor Albin told reporters on Saturday.
"We have calculated it approximately, 43 billion rubles," he said answering reporters' questions.
Zenit Arena is an unofficial name of the stadium in the Russian second-largest city. However, at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup it will be officially named as ‘St. Petersburg Arena."
The over 68,000-seat capacity stadium designed to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches was laid down in the western portion of Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg in 2007. The construction project was amended three times: in 2008, 2010 and 2013. The main construction phase finished on 29 December 2016.
Each time, the cost of the arena was increased from the initial estimate of 6.7 billion rubles ($268 million at the average ruble/US dollar exchange rate for 2007) to possible 43.8 billion rubles (some $728.3 million at the current exchange rate).
The FIFA Confederations Cup, which is also viewed by experts as a rehearsal a year prior to the FIFA World Cup, will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Moscow’s Otkritie-Arena, the St. Petersburg Arena, Sochi’s Fisht Arena and the Kazan-Arena.
Seven nations have already qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup and they are the competition’s host, Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champion Germany, 2015 Copa America Champion Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winner Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup winner Portugal and OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup winner New Zealand. The remaining eighth nation will be determined following the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The draw for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was held on November 26, 2016 in the Russian city of Kazan.
Following the draw, host Russia was placed in Group A alongside Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand. Group B brought together Germany, Chile, Australia and the winner of the Africa Cup of Nations, which will be determined in early February following the AFC finals in Gabon.
The opening game of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held at the newly-built 68,000-seat capacity football arena in St. Petersburg on June 17 between Russia and New Zealand. Russia will face Portugal in Moscow on June 21, and on June 24 it will play Mexico in Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan.