Kazan Arena given the concept: after the World Cup there will be a shopping mall and cinema

Using the object only for football is too expensive, officials say

Kazan Arena given the concept: after the World Cup there will be a shopping mall and cinema Photo: Maksim Platonov

Realnoe Vremya has acquainted with the development concept of the stadium Kazan Arena after 2018 FIFA World Cup. In order the object did not stand idle and did not generate losses, officials suggest developing it in parts. In the northern part to arrange recreational complex, and the southern part — retail area with cafes, bowling and cinema.

World Cup is good, but there is one ''but''

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan has elaborated the concept of the heritage of the world football championship in 2018. This plan is the effective use of sports facilities after the event ends. In fact, this concept covers several venues — the stadium Kazan Arena and venues to be built for training. The task is to create conditions for their most effective operation.

In the introduction to the concept the officials note, ''The outcome of the World Cups one can recognize the improvement of the status of the host country in the international arena, development of international relations, positive economic, social and cultural changes in the life of the country.'' In particular, the studies of statistical agents confirm an increase in business, tourism, trade and other international activity for a long time after the championships.

Besides, the developers write, the championships of such level ''set a powerful impetus for development of football and other sports in the host country'' and stimulate domestic demand for sports and related products.

Kazan will host only 6 out of 64 World Cup matches, and sports facilities need to be used after the competitions as well. Photo: Maksim Platonov

However, there is one ''but'': Kazan will host only 6 out of 64 World Cup matches (four group games, as well as the 1/8 and 1/4 finals), and sports facilities need to be used after the competition as well. ''As international experience shows, in the case of the use of stadiums only for football matches, their operation is very costly,'' say the authors of the concept.

''For the sake of load and profitability''

To pay off the stadium, it needs to be multifunctional and it should develop in three directions at once, the officials decided. In addition to its use for its intended purpose, i.e. as a football arena, it is necessary to hold cultural events here periodically and to maximize the operation of commercial space.

''The mode ''Heritage'' involves the use of the football stadium as a multifunctional complex for holding sports competitions of different level, organization and holding of concerts, performances and exhibitions,'' said in the concept.

It is clear with the main function of Kazan Arena —it will be the home stadium of Rubin Kazan as it is now, it will host Russian championships, international football matches and other events.

It also provides the reconstruction of venues for training before the competition in the locations of bases of the teams participating in the World Cup. Three precompetitive venues (the stadiums Rubin, Electron and Central) were prepared back in 2016 and were used during the Confederations Cup, said the press service of the Ministry of Sport of Tatarstan. Now there is a reconstruction of another four platforms at the bases of the teams. At all of them, except one, the work is planned to be finished by the end of 2017, the ministry said. The playground at the stadium Trudovye Rezervy will be completed later as there are some works that need to be implemented immediately before the World Cup.

In the northern part of the stadium, the premises on the first and second level will function as a fitness centre. Photo: kazanarena.com

After the Cup, all these sites ''should become a modern material and technical base for sport reserve training,'' said in the concept. They will be used as bases for sports schools. Besides, they may hold corporate events, holidays, training of children's football sections, free classes, including persons with disabilities and the poor.

''For the site there have been selected places that will be most demanded after the championship. Given the climatic conditions, at the design stage of the grounds it was provided the possibility of replacement of natural cover (according to FIFA requirements) with the artificial turf of new generation, which allows a year-round use of the facilities for the intended purpose,'' said in the document of the Ministry of Sport.

As for the event component, the authorities note, ''It is necessary to provide a complex of measures on carrying out sports, cultural, entertainment, exhibition and other events with the aim of providing the required level of its (the stadium — editor's note) load and profitability.''

Different parts of Kazan Arena, according to the concept, should be used in different ways. In the northern part of the stadium, the premises on the first and second level will function as a fitness centre. The southern part will become a shopping and entertainment complex ''with a retail space, cafes, offices, bowling centre and cinema''.

However, the press service of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport specified that this referred not to traditional commercial cinema but the screening of ''appropriate movies'' in the hall for press conferences during the thematic sessions. The officials do not exclude the screening of films in the media facade of Kazan Arena as well. ''But only if additional funding of the screening (sponsorship) is provided,'' it was the response of the ministry.

The representatives of Kazan Arena did not respond to the request.

''It should be done something''

Kazan Arena already rents part of its space for coworking, holding press conferences, briefings, exhibitions and celebrations. This area is allocated in a separate unit — Business Arena. On the territory of the stadium there are located Ruby bar and the restaurant Palladium.

Kazan Arena already rents part of its space for coworking, holding press conferences, briefings, exhibitions and celebrations. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The desire of the management to offset the cost is natural, the stadium is an expensive object, but it is difficult to evaluate these plans for now, said the owner of Green Hill Realty and former owner of the shopping centre XL Leonid Rakhimov. On the one hand, the location of Kazan Arena is good, it can be considered that it is the center of the city, he said. On the other hand, it will be difficult to take the shop here. ''There is no residential area in neighbourhood. The array is located across the street, it is not so easy to cross the road. A whole bunch of obstacles need to be overcome to get to shopping area,'' says Rakhimov. Perhaps, he believes, the stadium is more logical to adapt to a specialized trade. Expert in real estate Nikita Kuptsov believes that Kazan Arena might attract people by entertainment and event segment, and trade one due to them.

On the territory of the stadium there are located Ruby bar and the restaurant Palladium. Photo: e-kazan.ru

Slightly unprofitable arena

The actual owner of Kazan Arena is the Ministry of Land and Property of Tatarstan, but they delegated the stadium in trust management to the specially created Kazan Arena JSC. In the authorized capital of this company the authorities gave 800,000 rubles from the budget of the Republic, in September 2012 Radik Minnakhmetov was appointed as its director general.

Last time the company opened the financial statements in 2015, then it received a loss at 37,000 rubles, and the year before that — 46,000 rubles. In 2014-2015, it did not get revenues, according to the reports. Kazan Arena does not reflect in accounting reports its income from the operation of the commercial areas of the stadium, the representatives of the ministry explained.

By Artyom Malyutin