''There is a request not to throw even a square metre of grass away''

700,000 people were transported during the WC in Kazan, and it was decided to leave the sawdust near the Cup until 2019

''There is a request not to throw even a square metre of grass away'' Photo: tatarstan.ru

Conclusions of the WC are still drawn after the competition. This time Director General of the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects ANO reported on it this time at a meeting of Russia 2018 regional organising committee chaired by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. Other speakers also delivered a speech after him, but their reports weren't available for journalists. Realnoe Vremya's correspondent observed how the head of the republic won the natural grass, which was going to be thrown away after the WC, and knew what application for the grass would Natalia Fishman would also help to find.

Conclusions again

Azat Kadyrov reminded 42,000 people had visited every match at Kazan Arena on average – it's 98,9% of the stadium's capacities. The load was 100% in three matches. About 50% of spectators of all Kazan matches are foreigners. Most foreign fans were in Poland – Colombia and France – Argentina matches.

The majority of spectators (65,2%) came to Kazan Arena one hour to the kick-off. The first fans started to come 3,5-4 hours in advance.

''This fact highlights the correctness of the decisions concerning transport traffic and the stadium as well as the calculation of the capacity of entrances,'' noted Kadyrov.

About 11,000 devices connected to free Wi-Fi in each match on average. About 5,000 devices connected simultaneously. There wasn't allowed any serious incident at the stadium, while doctors were asked to help 507 times during the WC.

It's no secret some of the national teams decided to train and live in Kazan. There weren't problems with training bases. But there were prepared more sites by the WC than needed. For instance, Dynamo stadium in Mirny settlement was 100% ready, but the base didn't come in handy.

''No team questioned the quality of football pitches, and the quality of teams' training bases was quite highly appreciated by representatives of national federations,'' Azat Kadyrov commented.

Azat Kadyrov reminded 42,000 people had visited every match at Kazan Arena on average – it's 98,9% of the stadium's capacities. Photo: tatarstan.ru

The last mile without incidents and busy days for airport

The last mile regime lasted for some 8 hours.

''Thanks to a good job done to inform people of the city and the district through different sources, it became possible to avoid any critical road situations. I thank the city's population who treated with understanding,'' the reporter thanked.

The WC days were very busy for the Kazan airport. It serviced 3,300 flights and around 350,000 passengers from 14 June to 7 July, which is 40% more than in the analogous period last year. Most fans visited the airport after the last match on 7 July when 17,620 people were serviced. More than 50,000 people rode by train during the WC via Kazan. Over 700,000 people used public transport in the city for free. Another 200,000 passengers got to the stadium by free shuttles.

As it was said, an average load in hotels was 81%, on 6 July, it was 99%. On the other match days, the hotels were 91% full. Over 200 cultural events were held during the WC in Kazan. Azat Kadyrov didn't provide how many people had visited them but told that almost 150,000 people had been in museums, theatres and concert halls only.

It should be reminded that there was created a site deliberately by the WC in Tatarstan where one could find almost any information about matches and leisure time in nine languages. In the end, the number of unique users of the portal exceeded 100,000 people, while the biggest number of visits was detected one day before the first match in Kazan – on 15 June.

The WC days were very busy for the Kazan airport. Photo: Dmitry Reznov

What's next?

There is no sense in telling about the Fan Festival in detail because information about it has been made public many times. We will just note that temporary equipment is dissembled there now, and the registry office is going to be housed in the Cup again from 26 July. This year newly-weds will have to walk on the sawdust, which was used to cover the grass. It will appear here next year during beautification. But we need to say the engineering infrastructure near the Cup allows now to hold big urban events. Three events are planned on the site in August – Republic Day, City Day, aviation holiday and air races.

Now functionaries are discussing where the temporary infrastructure created at Kazan Arena can be used. One of the offers is to find application for a part of the infrastructure in the upcoming WorldSkills Kazan 2019 and give something to municipalities.

''It will take time, Mr Minnikhanov. We will prepare a separate report on these issues,'' Azat Kadyrov reported to the president.

He also offered the head of the republic to consider an option of sports museum, which can be located in Kazan Arena's southern stands.

''There is space, there is little space for museums, there are many exhibits, it would be good. Tourist groups could visit the museum. It would probably be good,'' the director of the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects ANO questioningly turned to the president.

Rustam Minnikhanov asked about the fate of the grass in the training bases prepared by the WC

How president defended natural grass

Having heard the report out, Rustam Minnikhanov asked about the fate of the grass in the training bases prepared by the WC.

''As for seven training bases, it's written we need to change the grass for artificial in five of them…'' the president started to find out and addressed to Kadyrov for clarification.

''Yes, this is true,'' the reported reacted.

''In five bases, right?'' the head of the republic specified.

''Rubin and the Central Stadium conserve the natural grass,'' Kadyrov replied and noticed the use of artificial grass was cheaper and more effective.

''What should we do with the natural grass?'' after this question, it became known what the president made a hint on.

''The grass in two bases can be re-laid, in fact. We're considering options with the city's executive committee. There is an offer to re-lay it at school, but this needs to be discussed again. And there is an offer for parks and public squares. We also keep in touch with Natalia Fishman. The grass in three bases is young, it will unlikely be possible to roll and transport it,'' Kadyrov commented.

But it seems the reply didn't satisfy the president.

''There is a request not to throw even a square metre of the grass away and to clearly know where we take it to,'' Mr Minnikhanov started to give instructions. But the journalists couldn't hear them completely, the sound of the meeting's transmission was turned off.

By Maria Gorozhaninova
Tatarstan