By Paul Nicholson
February 7 – Russia has increased its government spending on the 2018 World Cup by 19.1 billion rubles ($325 million) according to documents published on a government website. Total spend on the World Cup is now going to hit $10.8 billion.
The 2018 World Cup organising committee has not indicated what the increased spend will cover specifically, but the AP says the document says the money will be targeted at construction or refits of World Cup-related facilities.
To date the Russian budgets have been characterised by cost cutting rather than increased spend as government has reduced the scale of infrastructure projects including hotel development and some training bases. Central government has also squeezed stadium contractors on their budgets, many having complained that they would struggle to complete on the reduced money available.
Federal spending will make up about 55% of the total spend on the 2018 World Cup which will be played in 12 stadiums across 11 cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The fall in the value of the rouble forced Russia to rethink its World Cup expenditure in 2014 as the price of foreign supplies went upwards and Russia had to look to its home market for materials. It now looks like the purse strings have been released to help the construction industry get over the line.
Putting their stamp on the World Cup
With Russia marking the 500-days-to-go countdown to the opening match of the World Cup, the Russian Post Office is to issue 250,000 special commemorative stamps depicting the wolf as the official mascot.
In addition to the stamps, the Post Office of Russia said it will issue first day covers and prepare special redemption postmarks for the cities of Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, St. Petersburg, Saransk and Sochi. The stamps go into postal circulation February 7.
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