SAMARA, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – About 56,000 migrants will work to prepare Russia’s southern Samara Region for the 2018 football World Cup, a regional labor official said Tuesday.
The migrant workers will work “not only in construction, but in almost all areas,” said Irina Nikishina, the deputy minister for labor, employment and migration in the region.
Nikishina said that this year, about 30,000 permits were issued to companies in Samara allowing them to hire foreigners, while the same number of work permits were issued to private individuals.
Officials are working to modernize Samara’s transportation and utilities, as well as its medical, hospitality and sports infrastructure to get the region ready for the international football tournament.
Samara is one of 11 cities around Russia that will host the games in June and July 2018.
The city on the Volga River plans to build a brand-new $320 million stadium with a capacity of nearly 45,000 spectators, as well as a number of other sports facilities, like an indoor cycling track, football training fields and a water sports center. According to regional officials, construction is scheduled to start next spring.
Samara authorities also plan to develop three new tram lines and redevelop the city’s river waterfronts.
Financial analysts have warned that the cost of developing poor municipal infrastructure in most of the 2018 World Cup host cities may far exceed regional government budgets.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev this year predicted the total cost of the World Cup at over $20 billion, double Russia’s original estimate of $10 billion when it first won the hosting bid in 2010.
Russian local governments, however, estimate the games will cost them up to $43 billion. Standard & Poor’s ratings agency this year named Samara as one of the 2018 host cities facing the biggest difficulties in covering World Cup expenditure.