Authorities Deny Pulling Plug On Russia's Zenit Stadium
The St. Petersburg government "has not frozen" the construction of a 69,000-seat stadium for Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg, according to the RUSSIAN INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCY. The cost of the stadium, expected to host 2018 World Cup games, "has soared as its deadline has slipped from the original opening date of '08." Transstroi General Dir Igor Pankin, whose company is in charge of stadium construction, said that the city government's financing for the project "had almost completely dried up" since November. The city "denies these claims." A spokesperson for the municipal government's construction committee said, "In 2013 the stadium will be ready. We are keeping to this date." The stadium may now cost RUB 33B ($1B) less than the figure of $1.3B quoted by Pankin to Vedomosti Business Daily, but still "far higher than the initial price tag" of $250M when the project started in '06 (RIA, 6/7).