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Troubled Russian World Cup stadium opens to the public

FC Dinamo Moscow v FC Zenit St. Petersburg - Russian Premier League

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 21: FC Dinamo Moscow fans during the Russian Premier League match between FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Zenit St. Petersburg at the Arena Khimki Stadium on May 21, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

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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.”