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Russia Offers Fans Free Ground Travel for 2018 World Cup

Published: June 16, 2014 (Issue # 1815)




  • Photo: Marti / Flickr

RIO DE JANERO Fans with game tickets will be offered free ground transportation between host cities at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"Free travel is a guarantee which we signed at the highest level during our bid," Alexey Sorokin, head of the organizing committee, said Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

He said the free travel would be by train or bus. Though games will be played only in the western part of Russia, it still could mean some long trips.

Travel has been challenging and expensive at the last three major football tournaments, including this World Cup in Brazil, the 2012 European championship, and South Africa's 2010 World Cup.

"We'll come up with a very complicated system of using tickets to the game as tickets to a certain means of transportation," Sorokin said.

Russia will use 11 cities and 12 stadium venues ranging from St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the north to Sochi in the south and Yekaterinburg in the east.

Sorokin acknowledged he had never traveled vast distances on a bus or train in Russia. He estimated a train trip between Moscow and Sochi would be about 18 hours. He said several high-speed trains were currently operating in Russia, and said more might be ready in four years.

"We'll see how it will be implemented and what might be in time for the World Cup," he said.

Sorokin said Russian organizers proposed to FIFA that teams play their three group games in two adjoining clusters of venues, which would eliminate the kind of country-wide travel prevalent in Brazil. He said no times for starting matches had been proposed yet to FIFA.

Sorokin also said hotel prices would be controlled, which is something Brazil has been unable to manage.

"The Russian government has the power to manage hotel prices once it sees that the situation is getting out of control," Sorokin said. "We used that in Sochi and we will use that in the World Cup."

Sorokin deflected questions about Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. He said tourists would be "well informed and not afraid to come" to Russia.

"Tourists will come to Russia to see the World Cup matches," he said. "They will not come to discuss political developments, which by then will all be in the past."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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