Floods led to World Cup 2018 stadium switch

Samara: Fatal flooding indirectly led to a planned World Cup 2018 stadium in the Russian city of Samara being relocated to a new site.

In response to floods that killed 172 people in and around the town of Krymsk in July, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree specifying any new large building near water must be at least eight meters above the water level.

With Samara`s 45,000-seater stadium originally set to be built on an island where two rivers meet, these new rules would have made the project far too expensive, regional governor Nikolai Merkushkin said.

"It would take another 10 billion rubles ($32 million) of additional investment," he said, suggesting the money could be better spent on flood protection for the rest of the region.

"For that money, we would be able to landscape not only Samara and Tolyatti but could landscape practically the entire region."

The new site is near a major highway and the airport in the central Russian city. A tender issued Friday stated that the price of the stadium has increased to around $430 million.

FIFA declined to say whether the switch to the new site would affect Samara`s status as a host city.