Russian Offical Says Zenit Arena Construction Is On Schedule For 2018 World Cup
St. Petersburg's Vice Governor for Construction Marat Oganesyan on Monday "denied claims by Russia's federal Audit Chamber" that the city's $1.1B 2018 World Cup football stadium might not be complete until '17, according to R-SPORT. Oganesyan stuck to the projected completion date of '15, with the opening set for '16, "after approval from Russia's construction oversight agency and world football's governing body FIFA." In comments relayed by a St. Petersburg government spokesperson, Oganesyan said, "In 2016 commissioning work will be carried out so the arena can come online." Audit Chamber head Sergei Stepashin said, "We've reduced the cost of the stadium, but it's like Wembley, it's very expensive." Like the St. Petersburg construction committee, "Stepashin did not say how exactly the money had been saved." The revised figure "remains almost three times the project's original budget" (R-SPORT, 5/20).