Russian Government Scrapping Commercial Zones To Cut World Cup Construction Costs
Russia's Audit Chamber said that the Russian government is "looking to save" up to $389M in the construction budget for 2018 World Cup arenas by "scrapping plans for commercial zones that would have helped them remain financially viable," according to RIA NOVOSTI. Audit Chamber official Vladimir Katrenko said at the end of last week that the country had set a limit of $442M per arena on a "group of seven stadiums to be built from scratch for the tournament, but new plans from the Economic Development Ministry foresee a reduction" to $386M per unit. After announcing "the plans, Katrenko criticized them for being shortsighted, insisting that trading zones for fast food stands, parks and shopping centers play a crucial role in the commercial longevity of a stadium." Katrenko: "According to the logic of the Economic Development Ministry, there will be just boxes in the open field where you cannot properly eat, go shopping or walk with children before or after the match. With an approach like this, we will never learn how to earn money on football" (RIA NOVOSTI, 10/14).