Thursday, July 19, 2018

World Cup could cost Russia as much as $19 billion

Vitaly Mutko, Russia's sports minister, said on Sunday that preparations for the 2018 World Cup could cost $19 billion, representing double the estimate Vladimir Putin gave in 2010.

The announcement came a day after FIFA chose the 11 Russian cities it would use to host the month-long soccer tournament. FIFA determined that Yekaterinburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd and Kaliningrad would host games, Russia & India Report reports.

Mutko did not explain his decision to drastically change the estimated rise in cost. He said that the federal government would pay approximately one-third of the costs, with one-sixth coming from regional governments. Mutko anticipates the other half will come from private investment.

"These are not the final numbers," Mutko said, according to Russia & India Report. "You can call these figures a rough estimate."

Approximately 40 percent of the total costs will pay for sports facilities, such as stadiums. The rest is expected to go toward improving airports, buildings, roads and hotels while providing adequate communication, medical and security services in each area.

Other nuances in planning for the games exist in addition to costs. In Yekaterinburg, Mutko said that the prison next to the stadium will need to be moved to prevent the depressing structure from spoiling a festive environment, according to Russia & India Report.