The construction project of the Ice Palace on the Spit of Nizhny Novgorod suddenly nearly doubled in price – from 6 billion to almost 11 billion rubles. The press service of the governor and the government of the Nizhny Novgorod Region explained that this was due to expansion of the functionality during preparation of the Terms of Reference.
It is noted that when determining the technical parameters, similar facilities in other cities of Russia were considered. However, when calculating the initial cost, the designers also relied on a peer sports complex in Samara with a capacity of 10,000 spectators, wek.ru was told by the regional Ministry of Construction. In Nizhny Novgorod, a complex for 12,700 spectators with a total area of 66,100 sqm is to be build. Now, the Ice Palace in Sochi is used as a benchmark, which is only slightly larger but costs 11.7 billion rubles. With the rise in price of construction, a financial problem arose. Earlier, regional officials claimed that the work would be entirely funded from the federal budget. At a meeting of the Legislative Assembly Committee on Budget and Taxes, Acting Minister of Sports of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Alexei Moskvin said that Governor Gleb Nikitin was trying to defend the previous financing terms in the federal center, but Moscow was ready to allocate no more than 8.3 billion rubles. This money would have been more than enough with the previous estimate. Now it is planned that the budget of the Nizhny Novgorod region will allocate 2.6 billion rubles for the construction, and this amount is already included in the draft regional budget for 2020, the Communist Party faction of the Legislative Assembly of the Nizhny Novgorod Region said. Moreover, Deputy Vladimir Bulanov clarified that the region will need to spend about 800 million rubles annually to maintain the Spit facility, although the budget regularly reduces its social obligations. The vice-speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Vladislav Egorov (Communist Party) believes that near doubling of the cost estimate and the need to allocate regional funds for the construction require the intervention of not only supervising but also law enforcing agencies. Egorov outlined his position to the Polit-NN.Ru portal, adding that the situation indicates the incompetence of all those involved in its occurrence. It is worth noting that the plans for the construction of the Ice Palace on the Spit have been surrounded by scandals from the very beginning. In particular, urban advocates point to the fact that there no public discussions were organized when making this decision. In addition, the situation with soil on the Spit is difficult due to the proximity of two rivers – the Volga and the Oka. Therefore, for the construction of the Alexander Nevsky cathedral, next to which a sports complex is to be build, soil fixing works were carried out in tsarist Russia, and the cathedral itself is built on the state-of-the-art foundation. Nothing of this kind is planned for the Ice Palace; hence, questions arise regarding the safety of the facility.