The Confederations Cup will open on June 17 with a match between the football teams of Russia and New Zealand at the St. Petersburg stadium. In total, the 68,000-seat St. Petersburg stadium will host four matches, including the tournament’s final on July 2. The national teams of Russia, Germany, Australia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and Cameroon will take part in the Cup matches, they will be held from June 17 to July 2. In addition to St. Petersburg, the games will be held in Moscow, Kazan and Sochi. The maximum interest will be attracted by matches with the participation of Russia, believes Dmitry Navosha, CEO of Sports.ru.
The day before the match, on the day of the match and on the day after the Confederations Cup match, an increase in the daily passenger traffic at Pulkovo could be 10-15%, predicts Denis Pavshinsky, director of relations with authorities of the VVSS (airport management company). In general, the airport has a reserve of 30-40%, he adds.
The growth of the tourist flow in connection with the Confederations Cup can reach up to 10%, says the chairman of the tourism development committee Andrei Mushkarev. He does not expect an explosive growth of tourism. We hope to increase the recognition of St. Petersburg in the future, says Mushkarev.
Before the Confederations Cup, 845 hotels with 33,000 rooms were classified in St. Petersburg, 12,000 rooms are required for the needs of FIFA (the organizer of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, see inset), Mushkarev notes.
Large-scale sporting events rarely have an extremely positive effect on the city during their course: the result in the form of increased operational indicators and visibility of the tourist destination is usually delayed, says Tatiana Weller, head of the hotel business department at JLL. Directly during tournaments, the average price per room most often rises, but the load usually falls: traditional tourists at these moments avoid coming to the venue for such events, she notes. This can be seen in hotel operating numbers during the last three FIFA World Cups, with occupancy rates falling from 2-3 pp to 10-15 pp in these cities compared to the same period the previous year, Weller said. This year, in June, the number of ordinary tourists during the Confederations Cup may decrease: guests are scared off by the premium price of accommodation, possible difficulties with moving around the city, additional security measures taken, and in the case of sporting events, also a special type of tourists, which are sports fans, the expert argues.
79.7 million rubles. – how much will the fan zone cost to watch the Confederations Cup matches. Its organization at 2 Konyushennaya Square is carried out under a state contract by the St. Petersburg corporation PMI
Representatives of the two hotels admitted that occupancy this year has already dropped quite seriously, but there is still hope for the arrival of a significant number of fans.
Tourists are frightened off not only by the excitement associated with the Cup, but also by the threat of terrorist attacks, says Yekaterina Shadskaya, director of the North-West regional branch of the Russian Union of Travel Industry.
There is concern that some of the fans may miss the games out of fear for their safety, especially after the terrorist attack at the stadium in Manchester, adds one of the hoteliers.
The official FIFA website lists 20 St. Petersburg hotels of 3 to 5 stars. Reservations for June 17 this week were only available at Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg (43 694 rubles) and Astoria (33 368 rubles). “Radisson Royal St. Petersburg” is included in the list of hotels in the 2017 Confederations Cup, and the number of booked rooms varies depending on dates, Michal Grobelny, General Manager of the hotel, reported through the press service, without naming the number of booked rooms. Sporting events of this magnitude certainly have an impact on hotel demand and occupancy, and this makes planning somewhat difficult, he admits, adding that it builds on past success stories. The hotel demonstrates a stable load during any major events held in St. Petersburg, for example, such as the economic forum, he notes. Domina St. Petersburg does not envisage a special price increase on the eve of the cup, it depends on the market situation and the company’s strategy, says its CEO Kristina Kuznetsova.
The CoffeeShop chain is planning an increase in revenue of St. Petersburg coffee houses in June due to the Confederations Cup by 2 million rubles, in percentage terms the increase is insignificant, but this is an opportunity to attract new guests, says Anna Aranovskaya, head of marketing at CoffeeShop Company. According to her, the coffee houses will broadcast the Cup matches. There are 31 out of 96 coffee shops in St. Petersburg. Ginza Project expects an increase in the flow of guests on the days of the Cup by 1.5 times, co-owner of the Ginza Project holding Vadim Lapin said through a representative. According to his forecasts, the average check will grow by the same amount. According to Lapin, the restaurants of the holding will support the tournament with broadcasts, compliments and special offers for fans. In the restaurant “Maymun” there will be a game “Guess the score – get a discount” up to 50%, in the restaurant “Spices & Joy” on Vasilievsky Island there is a 15% discount for all types of barbecue and beer, etc.
Taxovichkof expects sales to grow by about 20% in June with peaks on match days, the press service of the taxi service reports. Especially for the Cup, Taxovichkof is preparing an update to the application, which will make it easier to order a taxi for foreign guests, says a company representative. According to her, the prices for trips on the days of the cup will remain the same.
The scale of the economic effect of the tournament depends on the level of the region’s readiness for it, says the director of the Center for Strategic Research in Sports of the PRUE. G.V. Plekhanova Ilya Solntsev. According to him, such major events as the World Cup require the construction of not only sports facilities (stadiums and training bases), but also transport, engineering and hotel infrastructure. Countries where all this is, have a chance to gain profit, but in St. Petersburg everything had to be built from scratch, Solntsev notes.
Petersburg spent more than RUB 100 billion on preparations for the Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup. Almost half went to the construction of the St. Petersburg stadium. It began in 2007 and cost, according to the latest estimates, about 43 billion rubles. The stadium was commissioned in December 2016, its construction was accompanied by conflicts, litigation and termination of contracts with contractors. The work at the stadium is still ongoing – the engineering systems of the stadium are being commissioned, the lawn is being brought into proper condition. On April 22 and May 7, Zenit played two matches with Ural and Terek at the stadium, respectively. The match with Krasnodar, scheduled for May 17, was postponed to the Petrovsky stadium due to problems with the pitch, which caused serious criticism from players and experts. As a result, the grass was cut, and a roll lawn was laid on the arena. It cost 12 million rubles, including 3 million rubles. for installation.
The FIFA Confederations Cup has been held since 1988 (until 1997 – the Fahd Cup) in the host country of the World Cup a year before the championship. There are eight teams participating in the Cup, including six continental champions, a World Cup winner and a team from the host country.
The cost of roads and other transport facilities that the city administration has built and is building for the Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup is about 1 billion euros, Sergei Kharlashkin, chairman of the committee for the development of transport infrastructure, said in mid-May. According to the KRTI, these facilities include the Novokrestovskaya metro station (RUB 36.8 billion), the junction at the intersection of Pulkovskoye Highway with Dunaysky Prospekt (RUB 12.3 billion), the exit from the WHSD to the embankment. Makarov (709.6 million rubles). The construction of the Yacht Bridge leading to the stadium “St. Petersburg”, 1.85 billion rubles. invested by St. Petersburg construction companies.
More than 11.5 billion rubles have been allocated for transport support for the Confederations Cup, the press service of the transport committee reported. This amount includes the purchase of 125 buses that will operate as shuttles during the cup (2.2 billion rubles), 19 trams (895.2 million rubles), 354 subway cars. Another 103.5 million rubles. allocated to reimburse the cost of transporting fans and volunteers. The chairman of the transport committee, Alexander Golovin, said that fans with tickets to the stadium will be able to use public transport for free on match days, and volunteers during a month. Transport restrictions in the city – on the streets and on rivers and canals – will operate only near the St. Petersburg stadium on Krestovsky Island, and on match days, the entry into the city of ordered bus transport, not agreed with the organizers, will be restricted.
The costs of transport and infrastructure will not pay off by holding the championships, but everything will remain in the city, residents will use all this, says Golovin.
In general, the region receives a powerful impetus for development and a good base for holding sports competitions in the future, but it is almost impossible to recoup the budget costs, says Solntsev. There are direct benefits – the sale of tickets, TV rights, advertisements, food, drinks and paraphernalia (most of these revenues are received by FIFA, but the host country has the right to count on a certain share), as well as indirect benefits – an increase in hotel occupancy, the opening of new companies, serving the needs of the stadium, supplying food and beverages, and producing merchandise, he notes. Among the indirect effects, they often highlight a decrease in unemployment, an increase in tourists, a revival of business activity in general, an increase in the country’s image, solidarity in society (provided that everything goes well), an improvement in sports achievements – the organization of home competitions often provides an advantage, the popularization of sports, he lists … But, given the cost of building the stadium, a positive economic effect for St. Petersburg (if we count it as the difference between income and expenses) is excluded, Solntsev estimates.