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ST. PETERSBURG, May 17. /TASS/. The new over 68,000-seat football stadium in Russia’s St. Petersburg, built at the cost of 43 billion rubles (about $782 million at the current exchange rate), is not the world’s most expensive, St. Petersburg deputy governor Igor Albin said Tuesday.
"I don’t think that this stadium is the world’s most expensive. The price is normal if calculated per square meter. Yes, it was possible to save some money, but it was not as costly as it may seem," he said, adding that changes to the project, which was amended several times during the construction, pushed the expenditures further up.
When asked about the cost of the construction, Albin replied "about 43 billion rubles." "Plus, we will get back about 3.6 billion through a court ruling, and one billion for changes (to the project)," he added.
The stadium, designed to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, was laid down in the western portion of St. Petersburg's Krestovsky Island in 2007. The construction project was amended three times: in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
The Russian Premier League’s match of FC Zenit St. Petersburg vs Ural Yekaterinburg, held on April 22, was the first official match at the stadium. However, after the second game, that took place on May 7, it was decided that next games will be held at other venues to save and improve the quality of grass at Zenit Arena.
The new football arena in St. Petersburg will be hosting the opening and the final matches of the Confederations Cup, also dubbed as the Tournament of Champions.
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 Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and Kazan Arena in Kazan. The opening game will be held in St. Petersburg on June 17 between Russia and New Zealand.