22:52 GMT +3 hours23 November 2014
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Yekaterinburg Eyes $3 Billion Spend for World Cup 2018

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(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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The Russian city of Yekaterinburg is to spend more than $3 billion on preparing to host 2018 World Cup matches, regional sports minister Leonid Rapoport said Thursday.

The Russian city of Yekaterinburg is to spend more than $3 billion on preparing to host 2018 World Cup matches, regional sports minister Leonid Rapoport said Thursday.

The Ural Mountains city is the easternmost of the 11 locations where the tournament will be held and has already has a stadium in place, though uprgades are planned.

Total costs for the World Cup will be $19.2 billion nationwide, almost double the amount specified in Russia’s original bid, federal Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said last week.

“The proposals we collated in our application book amount to a sum in the order of 100 million rubles ($3.2 billion),” said Rapoport, the minister for fitness, culture and sport for the Sverdlovsk region, of which Yekaterinburg is the capital.

The sum covers infrastructure projects such as an extension to the city’s underground rail system and an office and shopping complex called Strazhi Urala, Rapoport said.

“That’s not just funding for the development of sporting infrastructure, it’s funding for roads, to build the metro, to realize the Strazhi Urala complex, for environmental, medical, informational issues.”

Rapoport did not specify how much would be spent on the city’s Central Stadium, which was opened last year and will host matches after its capacity is increased from 27,000 to 44,000 to meet FIFA requirements.

The only other city to specify a budget since last week's announcement is Saransk, a central city that is the smallest of the 11 hosts.

Saransk is to spent 60 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) on building the stadium and various transport and infrastructure projects, the regional government said Wednesday.