St. Pete Seeks New Contractor for Zenit Stadium

ST. PETERSBURG -- City Hall has said it will choose a new contractor to build a stadium for Zenit on Krestovsky Island because of the project's rising costs and has also expressed hope that Gazprom will finance half the work.

"The administration has ordered the city's construction committee to announce another tender for a new contractor with a new budget and approval ... before the end of the year," St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said last week, Interfax reported.

Matviyenko said the city would not be able to manage the financing of such a large project and said she hoped that Gazprom would be able to help the city.

"The city is not able to finance the whole project. Now we are holding negotiations to have Gazprom co-finance no less than 50 percent of the project. I even think that Gazprom should cover even more than 50 percent," Matviyenko said.

The negotiations should be concluded by the end of September, and the stadium is due to open in 2010, she said.

Matviyenko said no multistory parking lots would be built on the island.

Last week, a construction budget for the stadium of 23.7 billion rubles ($963 million) was approved. The initial budget was 6.7 billion rubles.