18 September 2015

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ countdown clock reached 1,000 days to go today, but HBS teams have been wasting no time and preparations for the event – which starts on 14 June 2018 – are already well underway.

Even before this summer’s Broadcaster Information Meeting (BIM) and Preliminary Draw in Saint Petersburg, delegations from numerous HBS departments had already made several visits to Russia to inspect progress at the 12 stadiums to be used for the event, assess potential venues for the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and start the logistical process of finding accommodation for a workforce that will rise into the thousands come 2018.

The next steps for HBS include the opening of a permanent office in Russia, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2016. This facility will be staffed by the traditional early-settlers from Venue Operations, Finance and Liaison before gradually expanding to home the numerous persons required on site in the host country to ensure a smooth pre-event phase. 

Landmark dates on the Road to Russia include the first FIFA World Broadcaster Meeting, penciled in for April 2017, the FIFA Confederations Cup, to take place in summer of 2017, and the second FIFA World Broadcaster Meeting and Final Draw in December 2017. The final stop on the journey will be the traditional MRL Venue Tour of finished stadiums, taking place around March 2018, before the host broadcast operation takes residency at the IBC for the final months before kick-off.

In Russia over 45,000 people in 33 cities are marking the milestone across the country by taking part in a host of events organised by the Local Organising Committee (LOC), including football master classes, matches and a drive to recruit volunteers for the event.