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The funnel in the center of the roof is horrible IMO, the stadium would be much better without it since the design is actually not that bad.

Indeed, it'd look ok without that. Still monstrously over-engineered, but that seems to be the Russian way (look at what Sochi has built).

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Russia adopts law for 2018 FIFA World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup 2017
(FIFA.com) Wednesday 12 June 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a federal law on the preparation and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia.
FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are very pleased about the enactment of the 2018 FIFA World Cup law and grateful to the Russian authorities for their cooperation in finalising this important project fully five years before the start of the tournament. The swift passing of the law shows the strong collaboration between the Russian government, FIFA and the LOC on the two major FIFA tournaments to be hosted in Russia for the first time in 2017 and 2018.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup law will be the cornerstone of the operational set-up and preparation for football’s flagship event and covers all areas essential to the success of the tournaments.
From a fan’s perspective, the law permits visa-free entry to Russia for all 2018 FIFA World Cup match ticket holders and free overground travel on public transport 18 hours before and after matches.


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Russia launches major Infrastructure Programme for 2018
(FIFA.com) Tuesday 18 June 2013


The Russian government has sanctioned an Infrastructure Programme for hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The decision was taken at a Russian government cabinet meeting on Thursday 13 June.
The infrastructure programme consists of some 292 facilities and events essential for holding the 2018 tournament. This includes 12 stadiums, 113 training sites, 62 hotels, 11 airports, communal and transport infrastructure necessary for FIFA World Cup, and electricity, IT and communications infrastructure. Development of the Programme has been undertaken by the Russian Ministry of Sport.
“A colossal amount of work has been carried out to prepare for this infrastructure programme. We have gathered and analysed data on the current status of infrastructure in all regions holding the FIFA World Cup,” explained Russian Minister of Sport and Chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) Vitaly Mutko.
“There are no other programmes of their kind. Over 1,000 proposals have been studied. The results of this work have been used to develop an optimal scenario for infrastructure preparations, according to which we selected only those facilities without which such a major tournament could not be held. These facilities are capable of bringing maximum returns on investments in the long term, and leave a 2018 FIFA World Cup legacy that will contribute to regional development and the economic growth of the country.”
The overall cost of the preparation programme for Russia 2018 will total RUB 664.1 billion (approx. USD 20.9 billion). Just over a half of this sum – RUB 336.2 billion (50.6 per cent) – will be provided through funding from the federal budget:
- RUB 86.2 billion have already been factored into the federal budget and current federal programmes;
- A further RUB 250 billion will be added to federal programs and the federal budget.
The majority of these funds will be spent on preparing sporting and transport infrastructure facilities, as well as on the provision of security.
In accordance with the programme, regions hosting the matches are investing, overall, RUB 101.6 billion from their regional budgets.
The infrastructure programme presupposes that RUB 226.3 billion will be attracted from non-budget sources. Private investor funds will invest primarily in the building of new hotels and modernisation of airport complexes in the host cities.
The scale of preparations for Russia 2018 will go further than just the 11 cities hosting tournament fixtures. “The concept for hosting the FIFA World Cup has been designed in such a way that almost 70 per cent of the population will be involved in the preparations and hosting of the tournament,” said Mutko.
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It might get awkward if one of the teams selects an out player. There aren't too many to go around now, but at the rate we're going its not unrealistic that at least one team will have an openly gay player in 2018.

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Russia 2018 seeks outside assistance to meet FIFA stadium standards
Jun 21, 2013 10:38:10 AM
A senior Russia 2018 official has admitted that every one of its venues for the 2018 World Cup is having trouble meeting FIFA standards as Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko stressed that transparency would be key as organisers seek to keep the tournament’s R664.1 billion (US$20.75 billion) budget in check.
Daniil Izotenkov, head of Arena 2018, a company set up by Russia 2018 to ensure stadiums meet FIFA requirements, said that outside assistance would be drawn upon. “All of the stadiums have problems meeting the FIFA standards,” said Izotenkov, according to the RIA Novosti news agency. “This is linked with the absence of experience in working on stadiums, so we are bringing in foreign specialists with experience of creating stadiums for the World Cup.”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week signed off on the Infrastructure Programme for the World Cup at a cabinet meeting. When Russia won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, Russian President Vladimir Putin projected the total cost at about $10 billion. Mutko, who also serves as Russia 2018 chairman, said: “We’re going to do everything we can to make this project transparent. The more openness there is, it seems to me, the fewer opportunities there are for corruption.” Mutko stressed each part of the budget will be checked at every stage of the design and building process, with a principle of “hyper-personal responsibility” to make individual officials accountable. He said: “From the start, this project, which is starting now, will be kept under public control. That’s one of the right things (to do).”
While there is no blanket anti-corruption strategy in place for the World Cup, Mutko added that the government plans to stage meetings with all agencies involved, including the security service (FSB) and the state Audit Chamber. He suggested efforts could be modelled on the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan – a $600 million project that has encountered few problems. “There are projects like the Universiade where we are working calmly,” he said. “We’ve got serious support there from the Audit Chamber.”
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2018 FIFA World Cup Park attracts thousands of fans in Kazan
(FIFA.com) Friday 19 July 2013
At the height of the summer, the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM Local Organising Committee (LOC) came up with a memorable gift for the residents of Kazan and it’s guests, giving them all the chance to get a feel for the colossal event that will be Russia 2018, a whole five years ahead of the tournament. From 4 to 17 July, as part of the 27th World University Games, one of the city’s main squares, on the embankment by the Farmers’ Palace, hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup Park.
There was something for every football fan who came to the Park, whatever their level of footballing experience and passion. The smallest fans could paint themselves in the colours of the Russian flag, draw enormous footballs or simply take their first steps in the game by kicking a ball. For more active visitors, there were several open-air attractions, such as a precision shooting contest and two different types of table football. As well as “classic” table football, visitors could also test themselves in a larger-scale version using an inflatable football pitch.
All visitors to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Park had access to a marquee with interactive entertainment, where they could try on paraphernalia worn by football fans from around the world, test their knowledge in a quiz on the history of the FIFA World Cup™ and give it a go as a football commentator by describing some of the competition’s greatest goals. The visitors who produced the most skilful commentaries were awarded prizes by journalists from national television and radio.
“I’ve always dreamt of becoming a football commentator,” said Ilnur, a five-year-old boy who came up with one of the best commentaries on a goal scored by Zinedine Zidane in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final in France. “Now I’ll try even harder to make my dream come true. One day I’ll be a real World Cup commentator!”
Over the two weeks the Park was open, there were more than 150,000 visitors, i.e. more than 10,000 visitors a day or, on average, one in every 10 people from Kazan. Among those who visited the Park were Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Tatarstan leader Rustam Minnikhanov, players and coaches from Russia’s national student football team and other Russian sports stars.
Another visitor to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Park was Russia’s sports minister and Russia 2018 LOC chairman, Vitaly Mutko, who highlighted the extra interest the people of Kazan and its guests were showing in Russia 2018. “I’m really pleased to see so much enthusiasm among Russians in anticipation of this massive festival of football,” Mutko said. “I’d like to thank you for your support. The 2018 World Cup Park has been a sort of prelude to the FIFA Fanfests that will be taking place in the Russia 2018 Host Cities at the same time as the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and will give everyone the chance to sample the unique atmosphere of this tournament, which our country will be hosting for the first time, a whole four years early!”
Kazan was the first of the Host Cities to declare its 2018 FIFA World Cup stadium open. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2013 World University Games. In 2017, the arena will host matches at the FIFA Confederations Cup, and then Russia 2018 matches the following year.
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Arena-2018 presents stadium requirements handbook to Russia 2018 host cities
(FIFA.com) Friday 26 July 2013
Arena-2018 in cooperation with the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM Local Organising Committee (LOC) have presented the Russia 2018 Host Cities with the Stadium Requirements Handbook – a document that will form the basis for the design and construction of the Russia 2018 arenas.
The workshop that took place on 23-24 July was attended by more than 60 leading specialists and experts from companies involved in the design and construction of all 12 2018 World Cup stadiums, representatives of regional ministries and departments and international consultants specialising in stadium operations.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup stadium handbook is drawn up by FIFA in conjunction with Arena-2018. The handbook combines all FIFA’s most up-to-date infrastructure requirements for Russia 2018 stadiums, based on the experience of previous FIFA World Cups. The first edition of the document was issued in the spring of 2013. The final expanded version will be published in 2014, earlier than ever before in the run-up to a FIFA World Cup.
Attention of participants of the workshop was drawn to the need of a special focus on the legacy programmes for the tournament stadiums. The CEO of the Russia 2018 LOC, Alexey Sorokin noted: “As the organisations authorised to prepare for and stage the 2018 World Cup, it’s definitely the case that the LOC and Arena-2018 have an interest above all in ensuring that the stadiums built for the tournament comply with FIFA requirements. But the success of the World Cup in Russia will depend not just on how well it is organised, but also on how effectively the facilities are used after the tournament. And international experience shows that it’s right now, in the design stage, that we must make sure the stadiums are multipurpose.”
At the presentation of the new handbook, the organisers also outlined the main principles that will apply to the design, construction and use of Russia 2018 stadiums to make sure they meet the requirements of sustainable development. These principles cover areas such as energy consumption, environmentally friendly transport, compliance with environmental requirements and standards and the need to make sure stadiums are properly integrated into the cities in which they are located.
International experts from two famous European stadiums – England’s Wembley and Netherlands’ Amsterdam Arena – detailed their experience of designing, building and using stadiums effectively. The workshop was also addressed by the head of the Brazilian company Arena, Carlos de la Corte, who spoke about how similar issues have been resolved during the construction of stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Arena-2018 will develop its cooperation with the Russia 2018 stadium owners by organising more workshops on stadium design and construction – and several more will be held before the end of this year. Also in October, Arena-2018 in cooperation with FIFA experts, will make inspection visits to several Russia 2018 stadiums as a part of the monitoring process.
Arena-2018 was founded by the Russia 2018 LOC in April 2012. The organisation’s main task is to monitor the design, construction and reconstruction of stadiums and check that all deadlines are achieved and ensure that FIFA requirements are met.
Matches at Russia 2018 will take place in 11 Host Cities and 12 stadiums: Moscow (Luzhniki and Spartak Moscow’s stadium), Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Ekaterinburg.
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FIFA Decision Spares Luzhniki Demolition

05 August 2013

FIFA has agreed to City Hall's request to reduce the stadium capacity requirements for the 2018 soccer World Cup opening ceremony and final to 81,000.

The decision means that Moscow's Luzniki stadium — which is more than 10,000 seats short of the 89,000 usually required by FIFA — will not have to be demolished and rebuilt, Acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Monday.

The stadium was renovated as recently in the 1990s and Sobyanin was keen to avoid knocking down an "Olympic symbol" of Russia. Luzhniki was one of the main venues at the 1980 Summer Olympics.

However, the seating arrangements will be altered to satisfy FIFA requirements, because not all of the seats provide a good enough view of the pitch, Acting Deputy Mayor Marat Khusnullin said.

"The foundations, the walls and the roof of the stadium will be kept; the stands will be demolished and new ones will be built at a different angle," Khusnullin said in a report carried by Vedomosti.

City Hall will put 20 million rubles ($600 million) toward the reconstruction, the report said.

Luzhniki will be the main arena for the World Cup in 2018. It will be the first time Russia has hosted the tournament.

City authorities are planning to close the stadium after the IAAF World Championships in Athletics finish on Aug. 18.

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Thank goodness for that, the populous proposal is possibly the single most hideous stadium plan I've ever seen, it was just ugly. Luzhniki as it is is an epic interior that screams "big occasion", similar to Berlin & Maracana.

No. The Populous proposal might actually happen because it is an add-on. Since they aren't completely redoing it...just changing the angle of the stands, then that Populous add-on becomes more feasible. If they had to tear it down completely, then that Populous idea would've been passed over.

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Are they going to remove the athletics track as part of the renovation?

I truly hope so. I believe that was part of the original plan and I don't know how to increase the capacity to over 80k other than lowering the pitch and making more space for seating that way.

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FIFA wants clarification, details from 2018 World Cup host Russia on anti-gay law

Graham Dunbar, Associated Press | 13/08/13 | Last Updated: 13/08/13 3:06 PM ET

GENEVA — FIFA has asked authorities in 2018 World Cup host Russia for “clarification and more details” about a new anti-gay law, joining the International Olympic Committee in seeking answers from Moscow.

Legislation prohibiting “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors” has provoked an international furor since President Vladimir Putin signed it off in June and sparked growing concern at the IOC ahead of the Sochi Winter Games next February.

The two most influential organizations in world sports are both now asking Russia how the law would be enforced during their marquee events.

“FIFA has asked the Russian authorities for clarification and more details on this new law,” football’s governing body said in a statement Tuesday.

“Russia has committed to provide all visitors and fans with a warm welcome and ensure their safety” during the monthlong tournament, FIFA said, adding that “FIFA trusts that the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts will deliver on this promise.”

FIFA has a direct link to the Russian government, as Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko serves under FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the football body’s 27-member executive board.

Mutko has said that Olympic athletes would have to respect the country’s laws during the Feb. 7-23 Winter Games, and that international reaction needed to “calm down.”

FIFA noted that its statutes “foresee zero tolerance against discrimination.”

Article 3 states: “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

Russia was awarded World Cup hosting rights in December 2010, when FIFA’s board chose it ahead of England and joint bids from Spain-Portugal and the Netherlands-Belgium.

That same day in Zurich, FIFA awarded hosting of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, where homosexual acts are illegal.

Blatter drew criticism soon after the World Cup votes when he suggested that gay football fans could “refrain from any sexual activities” while attending the World Cup in the Gulf nation.

In May, after FIFA member countries approved tougher sanctions for discrimination, Blatter was asked by reporters what gay fans and players could expect in Qatar, and said that he could not offer “a definite answer” at this stage.

The potential effect on the Sochi Olympics of Russia’s attitude toward gay rights is playing out during campaigning for the six-man race to be elected IOC president on Sept. 10.

On Monday, candidate C. K. Wu of Taiwan said that “we are not joking” with Russia, and suggested that future bidders should be judged more strictly on their human rights record and follow the Olympic charter.

“This should become a basic qualification if you want to apply to host the games,” Wu said.

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