The Belarusian capital has a new stadium in the making. Chinese contractor has been given until late 2023 to deliver the 33,000-seater. Its price tag is surprisingly high, though.
Exactly on June 30 construction officially began on the new national stadium of Belarus. It's early days, which means the site is being organised and clear for excavation. The stadium is being built in the south east of Minsk, very close the old Stadion Traktor.
Along with the groundbreaking ceremony we've learned a few important details about the new stadium. First, the contract gives IPPR International Engineering Corporation 40 months for delivery. Starting on June 30, this means delivery on October 30, 2023. However, during the ceremony officials asserted that the friendship between Belarus and China will surely speed things up.
Also the price tag was confirmed by the deputy prime minister Nikolai Snopkov. The new stadium will cost $180 million (€160m) to deliver. Taking into account the projected capacity of 33,000 spectators, the budget seems really high, making up $5,450 per seat.
That's quite the opposite of what the Chinese have got us used to. Of course, all of the cost will be borne by China rather than Belarus, as is customary with the Chinese 'stadium diplomacy' policy, but it's still 2-3 times as much as similar Chinese projects cost in Africa.
Aside from the new national stadium, China is also building an Olympic-sized swimming pool in a different area of Minsk. Its value is expected to be within $60 million and delivery time is set at 36 months.