World Cup winner and former Barcelona and Spain superstar Carles Puyol is part of a FIFA and local Russian organising committee delegation for an operational tour of the Saint Petersburg stadium. The fifth visit is the final tour before the start of the FIFA Confederations Cup later in 2017. The visit will be made from 27th February to 3rd March.
Puyol will chat with fans on the Russian social network VKontakte and share his thoughts on the volunteer programme and the host country. He will also be meeting volunteers in Moscow and even have a kick about with some of them.
Other members of the delegation will visit the other three stadiums participating in the Confederations Cup in Sochi, Moscow, and Kazan. Virtual tours of the remaining seven World Cup stadiums will be made as well.
The next phase of Confederations Cup tickets goes on sale on Wednesday on the official FIFA website. It operates on a first come first served basis.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup spending has been increased by host nation Russia from 619.7bn Rubles to 638.8bn Rubles, an increase of 19.1bn Rubles (£263m) or 3%.
No formal reason for the increases have been given but with the Russian CPI (consumer price index) at highs of 15.55% in 2015, it comes as no great surprise that the nominal cost has had to increase.
The ever time delayed Krestovsky stadium (Zenit Arena) in St. Petersburg played host to 10,000 locals free of charge for an extreme sports show.
The cities deputy governor, Igor Albin, declared it was to test "security systems, logistics, and other systems".
World-cup-hotels.net has previously reported on the latest delays caused by the retractable pitch vibrating at unacceptably high levels, and there have been a myriad of delays ranging from contractor changes to alleged corruption from fraud investigations.
Tass Sport reports that some visitors were impressed, and that the stadium will bring good luck to the city.
The stadium will host the FIFA Confederations Cup later this year, and of course the 2018 World Cup.
Categories: Krestovsky Stadium
2x2, a Russian television channel has released a spoof video that mocks the continuous delays surrounding the Krevstovsky Stadium in St Petersburg. The video asks "Does your child finish their construction sets too quickly? Don't know what to occupy them with?" followed up by "Give them Lego Zenit Arena. You won't be able to build it at the first, second and even third attempt! Even your child will understand the real meaning of 'useless waste of money'.
The stadiums original budget was 6.7bn Roubles ($110m) and was expected to finish in 2011 but development has had continuous delays with changes of contractors and finding that the pitch was unstable due to high vibration levels caused by the retractable system. The final cost is expected to be 48bn Roubles ($800m), roughly seven times the original budget.
World Cups are often subject to stadium delays. In 2014, Fifa issued an ultimatum to the city of Curitiba over the completion of Arena da Baixada and in 2009 a strike halted the construction of the South African stadiums.
Categories: Krestovsky Stadium
The draw for the World Cup will be held in the Kremlin in Moscow on December 1st with the deadline to buy tickets running until January 19th. The move underlines the importance of the competition to the Russian government. The drawing will take place in the State Kremlin Palace, historically used for house meetings but now used as a concert hall with a 6,000 capacity.