Russian farmer’s straw stadium pokes fun at 2018 World Cup costs

Russia is desperate to control its spending on the 2018 World Cup, and a farmer might just have the answer straw. Roman Ponomaryov has built a straw replica of the 43 billion ruble ($700 million) stadium in St. Petersburg which will host World Cup semifinals.

By: AP | Krasnoye | Published:July 24, 2017 11:03 pm
FIFA 2018 World Cup, Russia World Cup, Roman Ponomaryov, FOotball news, Indian Express Ponomaryov says he modelled his straw Stadium on Zenit’s new home in a gentle dig at the problems around the construction. (Source: Reuters)

Russia is desperate to control its spending on the 2018 World Cup, and a farmer might just have the answer straw. In a project straight out of the “Three Little Pigs” fairytale, Roman Ponomaryov has built a straw replica of the 43 billion ruble ($700 million) stadium in St. Petersburg which will host World Cup semifinals.

His arena made of 4,500 straw bales comes with tiered seating for 300 and flagpoles. It hosted its first tournament _ for local teams only _ last weekend using modified soccer rules.

“It’s good to get people excited and create a sports atmosphere ahead of the World Cup,” Ponomaryov said in a recent interview.

The real St. Petersburg Stadium has drawn ire for its cost, corruption scandals, delays, and workers’ deaths.

Ponomaryov is a fan of the Zenit St. Petersburg club and says he modelled his straw Stadium on Zenit’s new home in a gentle dig at the problems around the construction.

“It seemed pretty strange … how the cost of the stadium and its construction timeframe were increasing,” he said. Russia’s total World Cup budget is around $10.7 billion.

Zenit has accepted the straw stadium with good humor, offering Ponomaryov a ticket to a game at the real thing.

The harvest will keep him on the farm for the next few weeks, though, and he has in mind another project _ organizing a Straw World Cup.

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results
    Express Adda
    Pro Kabaddi League 2017 - Points Table
    No.
    Team
    P
    W
    L
    D
    Pts

    Pro Kabaddi League 2017 - Schedule
    Sep 23, 201721:00 IST
    Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Delhi
    29
    Zone A - Match 91
    FT
    34
    Puneri Paltan beat Dabang Delhi K.C. (34-29)
    Sep 24, 201720:00 IST
    Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Delhi
    VS
    Zone B - Match 92
    Sep 24, 201721:00 IST
    Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Delhi
    VS
    Zone A - Match 93