Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Construction company calls on Russian government for more World Cup stadium funding

Gennady Timchenko, the owner of Russian construction company Stroitransgaz, recently called for more federal funding for World Cup 2018 stadium construction projects.

In an interview with ITAR-TASS, Timchenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, threatened to withdraw Stroitransgaz from all stadium construction projects unless the federal government agrees to raise its contribution for stadiums in Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod from $420 million to $475 million each, The Moscow Times reports.

"There is no way we can fit into the proposed cost sheet," Timchenko said, according to The Moscow Times. "Stroitransgaz does not work at a loss."

According to Timchenko's calculations, Stroitransgaz would require a full $475 million per stadium from the government in order to break even on World Cup construction projects throughout Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod.

"[The Russian federal government] plans to allot $670 million to the arena in Kaliningrad, $530 million to the one in Rostov-on-Don, $475 million to the one in Samara, and yet in Nizhny Novogord and Volgograd, where we are to build the stadiums, for some reason only $420 million each," Timchenko said, The Moscow Times reports.

Timchenko's concerns are compounded by the fact that the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi bankrupted the Mostovik and Tonnelny Otryad construction companies and entirely liquidated Fisht Stadium builder Olimpstroi after the event was over.

Following Timchenko's interview with Itar-Tass, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko responded in a national press conference on Monday stating that Stroitransgaz's financial demands were unreasonably high, according to The Moscow Times.

"We have three more complicated stadiums in Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg," Mutko said, The Moscow Times reports. "These arenas may turn out a bit more expensive. The other stadiums are ordinary arenas, which should be built within the normal price range [of $420 million each] that we spoke of."

Mutko, however, did agree to conduct an investigation of the construction demands of the Volgograd and Nizhny Novogord's proposed stadiums in hopes of reaching a compromise with Stroitransgaz.