Delays in stadium construction pushing the limits for 2018 World Cup


We saw it in Brazil, and the same problems are cropping up in Russia.

Stadium construction delays are pushing deadlines back to the limits, and we aren’t even a year from the last event.

Despite delays causing the stadium in Rostov to be pushed back seven months to a completion date of December 2017, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says the country is still “on track” to be ready to host the 2018 event. According to the regional construction ministry, a “double-shift work schedule has been organized.” Oh good! What could go wrong?

Brazil had a number of stadiums push back deadlines and barely made it in time for the summer tournament, some even with incomplete seating areas. Now, with just six months of slop time left and the event still more than three years away, there’s a foreboding feeling surrounding these things.

“We’re working very well together,” Valcke said. “We’re on track for all the preparation, not only for the World Cup but also for the Confederations Cup in 2017.”

Problems were also discovered in construction sites at Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod, announced sports minister Vitaly Mutko. Four World Cup sites will be used for the Confederations Cup in 2017, and Mutko said the St. Petersburg stadium (pictured) – still not complete despite an original open date in 2009 – would be “absolutely ready” for that competition.

That much-delayed construction site of Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg was initially funded by natural gas company Gazprom, but when they backed out in 2009 to fund a skyscraper instead, the serious delays began. The St. Petersburg government is now funding the project, and it is currently scheduled to be completed in 2016.