The Chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Local Organising Committee and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko went on a working trip to Ekaterinburg.
Immediately afte4r landing, deputy PM accompanied by the Governor of Sverdlovsk Region Evgeny Kuyvashev proceeded to inspect the Koltsovo Airport, which is being renovated for the upcoming World Cup .
According to Deputy /Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Konstantin Makhov, all works will be completed in December, 2017. "Already today the airport is ready to take in the same number of passengers we expect to arrive for the World Cup," Makhov said. "In time for the tournament, the airport increased the number of parking spaces to 71, we have just three left to complete. The transport system development programme included reconstruction of the runways. We are going to finish works on the second runway in August and then we will categorize the first runway, which means that both runways will be ready for the World Cup by December."
Right after the airport, Mutko went to the Ekaterinburg Arena reconstruction site (the former Central Stadium, which has been renamed for the time of the championship). "I am very pleased with the progress of the stadium’s reconstruction," Mutko said. "It is being done to a very high standard. The roof of the stadium has already been installed, the contour is complete, all engineering systems are running, interior finish works are underway, concrete placement is almost over, entry elements are being assembled. Everything here is on schedule, In May or June we will begin planting grass on the football pitch."
The stadium, which opened back in 1956, went under reconstruction on October 7, 2015. According to the project, the historic façade will not be touched. It was officially recognized to be an object of cultural heritage as an example of a public sports facility built in mid-XX century in the style of Russian neoclassical architecture.
At the time of the World Cup the arena will sit up to 35,000 viewers. In accordance with the schedule, the construction works are to be completed on December 31, 2017.
Mutko also visited the Uralmash Stadium, which will become a training base for teams participating in the World Cup. The visit then shifted to a 2018 World Cup Volunteer Centre, which was opened on the basis of Ural Federal University. Here Mutko inspected the volunteer selection process., met with the centre’s team and left and wrote his best wishes on the centre’s chalkboard.
Vitaly Mutko and Evgeny Kuyvashev also took part in a unique project organised by the Volunteer Centre – an autograph marathon of the Confederation’s Cup 2017 official ball Krasava – and took a picture with the Volunteer Centre’s activists.
"Russia’s volunteers are the best. The upcoming World Cup depends on you. I will definitely come to Ekaterinburg one more time to see how the preparation works are going and of course I am planning to attend the World Cup matches hosted by your wonderful stadium," the deputy PM said.
Mutko also told the press about preparing accommodations in the region. According to the official, Ekaterinburg already has the necessary of venues to accommodate all participants and guests of the championship.
"As for hotels and places of accommodation, we are completely satisfied. We already have the hotels we planned to have by now. We already have the capacity of 8,000 rooms. Out of the 26 necessary hotels, 24 have already signed up," he said.
The deputy PM noted that he is satisfied with the course of preparation works for the World Cup in Sverdlovsk region. "We had a productive day, we inspected a number of places – the airport, the stadium, training bases, we saw the work of a volunteer centre," the official said. "We also heard a report from the head of the head of preparation works in the region, discussed existing problems and outlined a plan to address them. To this day there aren’t any serious problems which could have caused us concern. I would like to express hope that the people of the region and Ekaterinburg’s residents will have a positive attitude towards the changes that are connected to the preparation for the World Cup. The tournament’s legacy will first and foremost be used by children."