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Football and the Big City
7 June 2019
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russia proved its ability to successfully host top-level athletic events on the global level

The 2018 World Cup was an unforgettable fest. <…> Great organization was noted by the President of the Russian Federation and a number of international organizations. <…> It was a truly top-level event. Gianni Infantino who got reelected as FIFA President again mentioned it was the best World Cup ever — Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation; Deputy Chairman, Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport .

We have well-developed transport, hotels, logistics and other infrastructure. This helps us successfully host such events — Vladimir Kirillov, Vice Governor of St. Petersburg.

Athletic events help social and economic development of the host cities and countries

Thanks to the World Cup, we got 12 new arenas in 11 Russian cities that now are the centres of sports and culture life of many cities. <…> If you take a look at the cities where those arenas are located and that hosted the World Cup, they truly changed. <…> 30 regions were involved in hosting the World Cup one way or another. These regions got an invaluable experience in dealing with the tourist flow, as well as a new sports, training, and logistics infrastructure. <…> This economic effect will last for many years to come — Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation.

For us, the World Cup was a whole milestone in urban environment: 17 road infrastructure facilities, new road junctions that help us make traffic less intense. <…> We would have never made such a breakthrough without the World Cup — Anton Alikhanov, Acting Governor of Kaliningrad Region.

We seriously developed our infrastructure – transport, subway, information technologies – all it was modernized. These projects were part of the plan to develop our country, but thanks to the World Cup they sped up. <…> If you use such events right, they can transform your society, your economy, your country. <…> A system for cooling down the stadiums [was created, – Ed.] Now we are getting it adjusted to outside spaces — Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for 2022 FIFA World Cup.

London has enormous projects and new stadiums being built. School children need it, pub goers need it, everybody needs it. And all of it is done through foorball. We are getting new jobs, new sports facilities and the city developed — Sol Campbell, UEFA EURO 1996 Bronze medallist.

Athletic events unite and inspire people

Football has this power. It unites everybody — Christian Karembeu, World Cup 1998 Winner; UEFA EURO 2000 Winner.

Now football is the main sports for us because of its popularity. <...> Now about 2.9 million athletes play football in our country. We see a boost in its popularity driven by the World Cup. Over the last two years, there were 15–18% more people playing football — Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
New facilities require expensive maintenance

This legacy requires expensive maintenance — Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation; Deputy Chairman, Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport .

Even the most succefull regions are nowhere near being breakeven — Anton Alikhanov, Acting Governor of Kaliningrad Region.

High cost of hosting competitions

There is an opinion that Greece’s [economic, – Ed.] troubles were caused by the Olympic Games — Alexey Sorokin, Deputy Chair, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF"; Board Member, International Federation of Association Football (FIFA); General Director, UEFA EURO 2020 ANO .

SOLUTIONS
Long-term use of the new facilities

Part of this legacy is the use of the arenas. <…> We have approved the business plan. We expect the arenas breakeven by their fifth year of their operation — Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation.

The infrastructure is always important. Especially the one that remains after the World Cup. There is a need for the infrastructure that involves transport and hotels — Martin Kallen, Chief Executive Officer, UEFA Events SA.

We do not only need to think about athletic facilities. We need to help the cities use them in a way to make it beneficial for its people with due respect for the surrounding infrastructure in the next 10–15 years — Richard Threlfall, Partner, Global Head of Infrastructure, KPMG.

Right next to the arena, we will build a culture and exhibition centre, an education cluster, a choreography academy, a branch of the Treryakov Gallery and branch of the Bolshoi Theatre. The World Cup helped such projects appear — Anton Alikhanov, Acting Governor of Kaliningrad Region.

We would like our arena to become a point of attraction. The task is to make something happen at the stadium or around it every day and every hour — Aleksandr Medvedev, Director for Technical Sales and Promotion of Products in the Domestic Market, Tube Metallurgical Company (TMK); General Director, Football Club Zenit .

Establishing a permanent body to host top-level athletic competitions

Sports need an organization that would permanently organize competitions. <…> There is point in setting new teams all the time — Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation; Deputy Chairman, Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport .

The idea [of a permanent body to host top-level athletic competitions, – Ed.] is great. <…> It should be professionals that deal any field of expertise — Petr Makarenko, Chairman of the Management Board, TeleSport .

Government support for sports

We plan to allocate 27 billion to develop the programme [of football support, – Ed.]. This money combined with the regional funds will help build 25 indoor arenas, over 100 football fields, and get over 5,000 coaches trained or retrained — Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS