Russia also hopes for a boost to development in the regions that have hosted matches, she said. The government will soon announce a legacy plan to ensure newly-built stadiums do not fall into disuse, Golodets said, although she declined to give details or a price tag for further investment.

Saransk, the smallest World Cup city, has a stadium of some 45,000 seats and a population of just 300,000. The city, located 650 kilometers (400 miles) southeast of Moscow, does not have a Russian Premier League team.

“Of course the smaller the population, the more difficult it will be to implement this program. That’s understandable,” Golodets said. “But we see potential everywhere.”

World Cup stadiums will host major cultural events, including music festivals, and their operations should be fully stable in the next two to three years, she said.