Sports minister Vitaly Mutko threatened to remove Kaliningrad from World Cup host list, if the city doesn’t immediately resolve its stadium problem. Is this threat realistic?
It’s been the hot topic in 2018 World Cup discussions in recent days. Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko threatened Kaliningrad with losing its tournament spot if stadium location decision isn’t made immediately. The case is to be resolved this week.
The situation reportedly isn’t that obvious, though it seems there’s no going back from building the new arena at Oktiabrskij Ostrov (October Island).
While the site has been criticized by Mutko for potentially being a very expensive one (the minister prefers current Baltika stadium), enabling works have already been carried out. Nearly all preparations, including the architectural competition and contractor search were aimed at building on that very site.
Should it be finally confirmed, Kaliningrad new stadium should see groundbreaking in April 2015. If plans change, there may be no chance to deliver the stadium in time, as there are only 3 years until the FIFA deadline.