A government delegation led by Russian First Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov, visited Nizhny Novgorod to check the pace of preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ in the city on the Volga this week. In addition to Igor Shuvalov, who is also First Deputy Chairman of the 2018 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) Supervisory Board, Russia's Minister for Sport and LOC Chairman Vitaly Mutko and the LOC CEO Alexey Sorokin were also a part of the delegation.
The delegation inspected the site where the future 45,000-seat World Cup stadium will be built on a picturesque spot where the Volga and Oka rivers meet. Igor Shuvalov particularly praised the choice of location for the arena, which enjoys views of the old city Kremlin on the opposite bank of the Volga. It is also near where the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is located.
According to construction plans devised for the stadium site, the total area will be 37 hectares, 21 of which are allocated to the arena. A new metro station will also be built there, benefiting local residents and those visiting Nizhny Novgorod wanting to see matches at the new stadium. The construction site is currently being cleared, and building will commence in the next few weeks.
“The stadium has completed a state expertise, and we’ve been given the green light to start construction; the site is already being prepared,” Nizhny Novgorod oblast governor Valery Shantsev said, commenting on the progress of preparatory work for the arena.
Igor Shuvalov also inspected the progress of construction at the new passenger terminal at Strigino International Airport, where work began in June 2014. The new terminal will begin operating at the end of next year, and the runway will be refurbished in time for the 2018 World Cup. The delegation also went to see how the construction of a new five-star hotel in the city centre and two training pitches was progressing, which were also included in the regional preparation programme for the World Cup.
“We are really counting on Nizhny Novgorod as the city could potentially hold a Round of 16 match, or perhaps even a World Cup quarter-final,” Vitaly Mutko noted. “The city is potentially ready for this. Enthusiasm is running high and there is an understanding of what needs to be done and how; there is a balanced preparation programme and clear control over [it].”
Summing up the visit to the Volga city, Igor Shuvalov said: “In the Nizhny Novgorod oblast, preparations for the World Cup are going entirely according to schedule. All in all, preparations to hold the tournament will help restore economic growth in the country. All steps related to preparing for the tournament have been well conceived. We understand that the country's transport and engineering infrastructure will see major development. All of this is entirely positive for Russia.”