Russia Caps Hotel Prices for World Cup 2018

Putin stands in front of young soccer players in new stadium
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with young soccer players during a visit to Spartak's stadium Otkrytie Arena in Moscow, August 27, 2014. The stadium is one of 12 to host matches in the upcoming 2018 World Cup. Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Russia has capped hotel prices for the upcoming World Cup 2018, set to take place between June 14 and July 15 of that year across 12 stadiums in 11 different Russian cities.

On Sunday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree to introduce maximum rates for accommodation in each city to prevent hoteliers hiking up prices ahead of the tournament. The caps are still quite generous though, especially in some of the country’s more luxurious hotels.

A single room in a one-star hotel in Moscow during the World Cup can go up to $126 a night, though if the hotel has no stars, the capped price is almost two-thirds lower at $45. The Russian capital’s five-star hotels will be able to charge up to $8,355 for a night in one of their priciest rooms.

Moscow is the only city that holds two of the 12 stadiums hosting the tournament: the newly built Spartak Stadium and the venue for the World Cup 2018 final, Luzhniki stadium.

Russia’s imperial capital, St. Petersburg, has an even higher cap on its tourist accommodation, where the most top-of-the-line accommodation at a five-star hotel will have a limit of $9,000 per night, while the cheapest option at a one-star hotel could still set you back $93 for a single room. Zero-star hotels are not much cheaper at $90 a night.

The rest of Russia’s host cities are considerably cheaper, with the lowest cap for a single night’s accommodation in the country during the tournament being in Kaliningrad and Rostov. In both, a single room in a one-star hotel over the course of the World Cup cannot cost more than $31 per night.

Putting some sort of cap on accommodation during a time of unusually high visitor numbers, such as during an international sports event, is common practice.

During the Winter Olympics of 2014, hosted in the Russian city of Sochi, Medvedev capped prices, but the rouble was much stronger at the time so the city was able to offer significantly lower prices. Then, the priciest room in Sochi would set you back $453 a night. Brazil, host of the previous World Cup, capped hotel prices and two airlines also capped the prices of domestic flights for fans who would have had to travel vast distances between different venues.