MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Up to 700,000 tourists are expected to Moscow for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin told VKontakte Live on Thursday.
"We have been judging by the Confederation Cup, which is about 50,000-70,000 people, a rather modest figure for Moscow in fact. As for the World Cup, of course the figure will be much higher - up to 700,000 people, but I think in reality we will have about half-a-million," the mayor said on the social networking site.
He said Moscow has enough hotels and hostels to accommodate the guests. "They are booked in advance. We see that booking proceeds routinely, there is no deficit in hotels," Sobyanin said.
"Moscow won’t be broke (due to the FIFA World Cup)," he said. Explaining why this happened to Athens after the Olympic Games, the mayor said "they invested colossal funds, and then these facilities remained useless". He said the venues of the future World Cup, the Spartak and Luzhniki stadiums, are popular arenas.
Sobyanin said work to refurbish the Luzhniki Stadium, which is intended to host the opening match, one of the semifinals and the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has been practically completed. The stadium is ready, but the territory around it is not yet ready, waiting for landscaping work.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country 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.