Russia has really upped its game for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and come up with some of the most magnificent stadiums for the most watched world event on the planet. The country has exceeded expectations with mammoth stadiums making their presence felt in small cities of the remote country. But many experts, including the Russians themselves are ambiguous as to what will happen to these stadiums post the championship frenzy!
According to reports, Putin has requested his local leadership to make sure that the stadiums do not become a pale shadow of its present glory and turn into flea nigh markets for merchants like it did in the 1990’s. However, that is going to tough to avoid, especially in the smaller cities like Saransk and Samara.
The administration is trying its best to endorse football in these smaller venues by promoting teams to the upper divisions of their national league. It’s a noble effort and could end up in two ways – on the one side, there is the possibility of more people becoming attracted to the beautiful game, however, most of that seems unlikely.
There are very few teams that are fans are willing to pay for to watch them play – and that could be the undoing of many of these home stadiums. The maintenance costs of these world championship hosting grounds are definitely going to be a mammoth expenditure – something that not many of them can earn on a yearly basis.
It remains to be seen if the government actually promotes football and aides the stadiums to ensure that one day, it will be self-reliant. There have been rumors of a special provision that will make the state play 12.4 billion rubbles for the upkeep of all the stadiums – and the remaining 900 million rubbles will have to be shared by the regions.
If this proposal is ratified by the President, then the stadiums will have a bright future till 2023, till which time the cities can concentrate on developing football, so that the home teams are good enough to play in their first league. It might seem like a burden for the young teams, but it also seems like a turning point for the Russian professional football scene.