Nizhny Novgorod banking on stadium
© LOC

A delegation of senior officials from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Local Organising Committee and experts from FIFA visited Nizhny Novgorod on 19 June as part of the process of selecting the cities that will be hosting matches at FIFA’s showpiece event.

Heading the delegation on the LOC’s behalf was its CEO, Alexey Sorokin, while FIFA was represented by its head of department for the 2014, 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, Jurgen Muller.

The inspection visit began at the proposed site for the city’s new stadium. A beautiful stretch of land at the confluence of two rivers, the Oka and the Volga, has been chosen as the location where the stadium for Russia 2018 will be built. Design work on the stadium is expected to start in the very near future. The arena is due to be completed in 2016.

“We are counting on this being a multipurpose stadium,” one of Nizhny Novgorod Region’s deputy governors, Dmitry Svatkovsky, said during a presentation on the project. "How exactly the stadium will be used is something we’ll work out in more detail a little further down the line, along with the company that will be designing it. But we want the arena to be used right the year round and to host up to 100 events every year. It will also house a fitness centre, a conference centre and a restaurant. That will allow it virtually to break even."

“It would be a major honour for our region to host matches at the FIFA World Cup,” said Nizhny Novgorod Region’s governor, Valery Shantsev. "I’m sure that the majority of people living in the region would support this. This event wouldn’t just be a significant achievement for all of us, it would also lend substantial momentum to the development of social welfare and the engineering industry. The World Cup is a big responsibility. And what we will need to do is not just build a modern, 45,000-seat stadium, but also modernise our infrastructure substantially – and that means the transport system, the hotels, the airports and much much more. On that basis, please allow me to express hope for fruitful cooperation with FIFA."

Nizhny Novgorod was the tenth of 13 candidate cities the delegation of senior officials from the Russia 2018 LOC and FIFA are planning to visit. The inspection tour will continue with visits to Saransk (20 June), Samara (21 June) and Volgograd (22 June). The final list of host cities for Russia 2018 will be announced in September.