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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

Tuesday, Jan. 27


Observe the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekov's book will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.





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