Russian Federal Government Will Not Provide Funding For Delayed Zenit St. Petersburg Arena
The Russian federal government "has refused to provide any future funding for the construction of Zenit St. Petersburg's delayed and over-budget new stadium," according to R-SPORT. The arena, which will host a 2018 World Cup semifinal, was originally supposed to open in '08, "but the completion date has been repeatedly pushed back" as costs have swollen to $1.1B. Citing a written answer from federal construction Chief Alexei Uvarov, St. Petersburg city parliament Deputy Boris Vishnevsky said, "According to the results of the study of this question, a consolidated position has been put forward by the relevant federal executive authorities on the lack of opportunities to finance the facility in question from federal budget." Vishnevsky also said that he had asked the government whether state gas company Gazprom, which owns Zenit, could provide funding, "but did not mention what, if any, answer Uvarov had provided" (R-SPORT, 4/2).