Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sverdlovsk governor urges unity over Central Stadium renovation

In a public conference on Thursday, Sverdlovsk regional Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev urged cooperation from Yekaterinburg residents and the local government over the proposed reconstruction of the city's Central Stadium in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Held at the governor's mansion, the conference was attended by members of the World Cup planning committee, Yekaterinburg municipal government and groups of citizens both in favor of and in opposition to proposed renovations of the historic soccer stadium, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports.

During the conference, Kuyvashev suggested that Yekaterinburg's lack of unified enthusiasm for the construction of public buildings may have contributed to the International Exhibitions Bureau's decision to select Dubai over Yekaterinburg as the host of World Expo 2020.

"I was approached by the secretary general of the International Exhibitions Bureau Vicente Loscertales who said, 'Sorry for you, Yekaterinburg,'" Kuyvashev said, according to Oblastnaya Gazeta. "'Dubai won in part because of the fact that the struggle [in Yekaterinburg] for the exhibition.'"

Many citizens of Yekaterinburg, including Mayor Yevgeny Roizman, have said major upgrades to Central Stadium will create a financial burden on the city that may prove to be insurmountable. Moreover, critics of the proposed renovation question why the stadium must be renovated after major upgrades were already done in 2010.

Despite his own opposition to the Central Stadium project, Roizman expressed hope that a compromise will be reached by all sides in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports.