St. Petersburg's new state-of-the-art venue under construction on the Neva River is to be scrutinised by auditors as part of a high-level inquiry into why it has drastically exceeded its budget so regularly.

The budgeting problems surrounding the New Zenit Stadium, which is being purpose built to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018, has gradually been getting worse and it is now estimated that it will cost $1.4 billion. It has led to football fans heckling in frustration at St. Petersburg's Governor Georgy Poltavchenko during his visit to a match. 

Federal accounts chamber Chair Sergei Stepashin said on Friday: "Auditors would analyse construction expenses and any new budget increases." 

St. Petersburg authorities recently asked for a further budget increase, pushing the cost to an estimated $1.4 billion, up from the initial estimate $210 million"

Poltavchenko stated his aim is to uncover where and why 16 billion ruble ($508 million) has already disappeared.


Posted on 30/10/2012