- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - A Russian stadium built for the 2018 World Cup and dogged by problems has opened to the public, with mixed reviews.

The 68,000-capacity stadium in St. Petersburg hosted 10,000 locals for a free extreme sports show designed to test the arena’s “security system, logistics and other systems,” according to deputy city governor Igor Albin.

The stadium has been almost a decade in construction and experienced repeated problems including worker deaths, soaring costs, fraud investigations, and frequent delays. Another month is needed to fix vibrations affecting the high-tech retractable field, Albin said.

Some visitors were impressed with the stadium’s spaceship-like design and lighting, but others criticized the 43-billion-ruble ($738 million) price tag. Andrei Zaraisky, a construction specialist, said he’d have preferred “to have the money spent on new schools, help for orphans, pensioners and disabled people instead.”

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