However, under the plan, the federal government would only help subsidize the upkeep of seven stadiums: those in Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Saransk. Five other World Cup stadiums — in Kazan, St. Petersburg, Sochi and two in Moscow, which were jointly financed by regional, municipal or private funding — will have to survive without subsidies.

A slow decay

Alexander Alayev, the general secretary of Russia’s football union, said the organizers of the 2018 World Cup took the problems of past sporting events to heart.

“We’ve thoroughly studied the examples of the previous World Cups in Brazil and South Africa, so we’ve developed a joint program with FIFA for the legacy of the World Cup,” he was cited as saying by Brazil’s O Globo news website.

Even so, the Russian government’s legacy program says that because of “the high costs of maintaining the stadiums, as well as the low profits of football clubs … it is impossible to expect the commercially viable use of stadiums in the next three to five years.”

Many consider even that prognosis to be overly optimistic. While newly built stadiums in Europe and North America see returns on their investments 10-15 years after opening, the expected period in Russia will be more than 50 years, Forbes cited Kirill Tikhonov, a sports consultant at PwC, as saying in June.