Azat Kadyrov, First Deputy Director General of ANO “Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate”
Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism
City of Kazan, Russia

Key words: economy, student games, infrastructure.

In the today’s context of the modernization of society and the development of innovative technologies, physical education and sport play an increasingly important role. This is primarily due to the increase in their social significance and their transformation into an independent link within the economic and political life of the country.

Russia has obtained the right to host a number of prestigious sport competitions such as the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the Summer Universiade 2013 and the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2017 World Hockey Championships and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This has given a powerful impetus to the development and modernisation of the infrastructure in various regions of the country.

The Universiade is international comprehensive sports competitions conducted by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) among students from all over the world.

The idea of staging the Universiade in Kazan originated after the city had successfully hosted a number of large-scale international sports events and our master teams achieved numerous vibrant victories at both national and international competitions. It was also facilitated by the presence of modern sports facilities, a well-developed city infrastructure and a professional personnel team.

The Universiade 2013 in Kazan was the first international comprehensive sports event conducted in Russia since the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. Such large-scale events, on the one hand, require the concentration of all resources (material, organisational and intellectual), and, on the other hand, they provide a unique opportunity to develop the entire infrastructure of the city, the economy, education and upbringing, culture and university sport.

The legacy and the potential of the Universiade are a powerful impetus to improve the standard of living for the population as a whole, to strengthen their health and promote a healthy lifestyle not only in Tatarstan, but also in Russia and its regions.

In order to establish the influence of this significant sports event on the development of the city and the whole region, an assessment methodology was developed and information regarding the influence of the Universiade on the development of the city and the region over the recent years was collected and analysed.

There are three main aspects to sustainable development: economic (economic well-being and growing welfare), socio-cultural (improving the population’s standard of living and creating conditions for the development of the human potential) and ecological (development in the ecologically friendly environment).

A number of trends were established in the course of the conducted study.

It is obvious that the Universiade had positive influence on the economic life of the city and the region, which manifested itself in the development of a number of economic sectors, primarily the construction and transportation industries.

This was made possible due to the fact that a large number of capital investments were attracted to our republic. In 2012 alone, 185 billion roubles were invested in the development of Kazan. On a per capita basis, that is 85% more than the national average.

Presently, a large emphasis is placed in Kazan on the development of the innovative industrial infrastructure. Russia’s best IT Park and Technopolis Khimgrad are located here. These projects are increasingly attracting the attention of foreign investment funds.

Kazan is currently implementing another two major projects: the innovation satellite towns of Innopolis Kazan and Smart City Kazan. These facilities will be merged with the territory of Kazan into a single concept of Greater Kazan, which will make the region even more attractive for foreign investment. Smart City Kazan will become Tatarstan’s new business centre, and Innopolis will be home to Russian and international specialists working on the latest developments in the sphere of IT.

These projects will contribute to the development of the region through the public-private partnership and will become a new landmark in the economic growth of the republic.

Overall, the success of the republic’s current investment policy is also supported by the research conducted by leading international agencies and companies. According to the rating agency Expert RA, over the last years Tatarstan has been constantly holding leading positions among the regions of the Volga Federal District in the “minimal investment risk” index.

In 2012, the Forbes magazine placed Kazan in the top ten in the category of the best Russian cities for doing business. All of these factors attest to the international ranking of Tatarstan and its seamless integration in the international space.

The preparation for the Universiade brought to Kazan over 130 billion roubles of direct investments. The total volume of the investments will be 228 billion roubles, 67 billion of which are federal budget funds, and almost the same amounts of funds are invested from the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan (81 billion roubles) and from private investors (80 billion roubles).

From 2009 to 2013, the operational budget expenses for the preparation and staging of the Universiade amounted to 11 billion roubles. The rest of the budget was used for constructing the venues and developing the city’s entire infrastructure, as well as improving the urban road network.

As a part of staging the Universiade in Kazan, an ambitious project of modernising the city’s transport infrastructure is being implemented, including the completion of the construction of the first metro line, constructing over ten road interchanges and a few dozen pedestrian crossings, launching an aeroexpress, a radical modernization of the Kazan International Airport, constructing a transit rail and bus terminal and the further upgrading of the rolling stock of the ground public transport. All of these changes affect the overall dynamics of passenger traffic.

The intensive road and transport construction positively affects the development of associated industries such as the manufacture of the means of transportation and transport equipment, metallurgical production and production of finished metal products, construction, an increase in the demand for drivers, road transport personnel, transport managers etc.

The hotel infrastructure is also developing intensively in Kazan. Over 100,000 tourists and spectators will arrive here from Russia and abroad for the duration of the Universiade. Presently, there are 95 hotels in the city, including the motels and hostels, which have a total of 4,700 rooms. In comparison with 2008, the number of rooms has increased by 1,8 times. International hotel chains such as Marriott and Park Inn have already opened their hotels in Kazan. The attention of the largest global hotel operator, Golden Tulip Hospitality, has been drawn to the project of the hotel adjacent to the Universiade Village. Another 15 hotels are being constructed for the Universiade.

Tatarstan has an enormous potential for the development of its domestic tourism as well as for welcoming foreign travellers thanks to the diversity of natural areas and its rich historical and cultural heritage. Over the last five years, domestic tourism has increased by 12%, which attests to the increasing attractiveness of the republic.

The republic is both preserving and reviving unique monuments of great historical value. Among them are the relics of two world religions – the ancient town of Bolgar and the island town of Sviyazhsk.

The preparation for the Universiade has greatly influenced the socio-cultural aspect of the life of Kazan’s residents and visitors.

Society is now more involved in the cultural life of the republic. A stable growth has been noted in the number of visitors to museums and theatres, in the amount of published books and brochures; the annual circulation of magazines and other periodicals has also increased.

It is encouraging to see that the increase in employment and social engagement of the population has led to a decrease in the crime rate both in the city and the republic. One of the factors that contributed to such a positive change in the situation was the increased systemic work with young people, including the involvement of young people in volunteer projects and motivating them to lead a healthy lifestyle in the run-up to the Universiade.

The World University Games generated a considerable interest among the socially active youth in Russia and abroad. Over 50,000 candidates from around the world expressed a desire to participate in this project. A total of 20,000 volunteers were selected for the Games, who will be working in more than 40 functional areas such as Teams’ Escort, Organisation of Sports Competitions, Arrivals and Departures, Attachйs, Awards Ceremonies and others.

The Universiade is partnering with 53 higher education institutions. The involvement of young people from various regions of the Russian Federation as well as from abroad will contribute to increasing the level of social cohesion among young people.

The development of the sports infrastructure and the promotion of sports and healthy lifestyle, including within the framework of the Universiade, resulted in an increased interest on the part of the citizens of the republic and, in particular, of the younger generation in physical education and sport, an increased level of physical fitness and better sports achievements.

As of today, 9,275 sports facilities were built and are operating in the republic. Under the federal targeted programme titled ‘Development of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation during 2006-2015’ and the Russian political party United Russia’s social project for the construction of pre-fabricated sports complexes, 34 sports facilities have already been put into operation.

Unique sports facilities were built in Kazan specifically for the Universiade. For holding the World Universiade 2013, 64 modern multi-functional venues will be used within the republic’s capital, 36 of which have been newly constructed.

28 sports venues and the Universiade Village, constructed with the aid of subsidies from the Universiade federal budget, have already been put into operation.

The construction and modernization of another 34 Universiade venues are funded from the republic’s budget (including 24 sporting facilities, 5 of which are newly constructed). Seasonal work needs to be completed at 11 venues while 5 sports venues are in their final stages of construction.

Some of the newly constructed venues can be described as the best sports facilities not only in Russia, but in Europe as well, among them the Tennis Academy, the Rowing Centre, the Skeet Shooting Range and the Rifle Shooting Range, the Wrestling Palace, the Aquatics Palace and the Kazan Area football stadium with a seating capacity of 45,000 spectators.

One of the first venues completed for the Universiade was the Tennis Academy. The complex has an area of 8,5 hectares. The territory of the complex houses 8 indoor tennis courts with retractable bleachers, seating 3,200 people, as well as 18 outdoor courts (14 hard courts and 4 clay courts).

The Ak Bars Wrestling Palace is a unique sports facility in many respects not only in Russia, but in the whole world. The total area of the venue is 18,000 sq. m. and includes a sports zone with the main hall, with a seating capacity of 2,000 spectators, 4 training halls, a gym, a fitness centre, many changing rooms with showers as well as a rehabilitation centre with saunas, a swimming pool and hydrotherapy treatment.

The Aquatics Palace, located on the waterfront of the Kazanka River, is one of the largest complexes in Russia. The Palace’s main hall is its main sports arena, under whose dome there are three “bowls”. Their dimensions meet the Olympic standards and make it possible to hold swimming and water polo competitions of any level here.

The most ambitious project of the Universiade is the Kazan-Arena football stadium, with the capacity of 45,000 spectators, which will be hosting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Universiade. In the construction of this venue, the most advanced technologies and solutions are utilised, which will allow the stadium to host not only sports competitions, but also cultural and entertainment events. The architectural concept of the venue was designed by the international architectural bureau Populous, which has also participated in the creation of the Wembley and Emirates football stadiums as well as the Olympic Stadium in Melbourne.

In accordance with the Olympic standards, the Universiade Village complex, a key venue of the World Universiade with an area of 53 hectares, was constructed for the 2013 Games. This is the place where athletes are received, accommodated and provided with services at the Games time. The residential area of the Universiade Village comprises 28 buildings and is able to accommodate over 14,500 people.

The territory of the Universiade Village has a modern infrastructure which includes modern medical centre, health care unit, pharmacy, post office, sports equipment rental service, beauty salon, supermarket, laundry pick-up point and other cultural and general buildings, as well as a public order protection point.  

After the Universiade, the complex will be transferred to the students of Kazan universities and will become the largest Russian university campus with a developed infrastructure.

Along with getting ready for the Games, the issue of the appropriate and effective use of sports venues after the completion of the Universiade is being worked on.

Most of the venues are located in densely populated districts, which have a positive effect on the local population’s engaging in sports. Pupils from nearby general education schools and children’s and youth sports schools attend the sports facilities daily. Hours of free admission to the venues were allocated for the city’s residents.

As a natural result, the dynamic development of the sports infrastructure the number of the people who are actively participating in physical culture and sports dramatically increased. Thus, in 2006, this figure stood at 15,56%, but in 2012, it increased to 28,7%.

The creation of the sports infrastructure drastically improved the universities’ material and technical base as the foundation for the development of the university sport movement. A total of 18 Universiade sports venues are to be transferred to the city’s higher education institutions, and that will facilitate participating in physical culture and sport for around 70,000 students as they will have sports facilities within walking distance from their classrooms.

The growing popularity of sports among university students can be clearly seen in the changing numbers of the students actively participating in physical culture and sport. In the republic, in the period from 2007 to 2012, the number of students actively participating in sports increased from 25% to 61%. This figure is higher than the main target set by the Strategy for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation for the Period up to the Year 2020 (stage 1: from 2009 to 2015 – from 34.5% to 60%).

Thanks to the infrastructure created in the run-up to the Games, excellent conditions were achieved for the development of children’s and youth sports with the use of high-tech sports facilities.

Presently, there are 158 children’s and youth sports schools in the Republic of Tatarstan, 23 of which have the status of a federal level Olympic reserve school. Over the last four years, the number of sports schools has increased by 11%.

Work is being carried out in cooperation with universities to accommodate children’s and youth sports schools (CYSSs) at the new sports facilities. The municipal CYSS for rowing sports has been moved into the Rowing Centre. The Vatan Sports Complex now houses the basketball CYSS “UNICS-Junior”, as well as the rhythmic gymnastics CYSS “Nika” and the hockey CYSS “Volna”. The Akcharlak Swimming Pool has accommodated the swimming CYSS “Kasatka”, the Ak Bars Wrestling Palace – the wrestling CYSS “Ak Bars”, and the Boxing and Table Tennis Centre – the Specialised Children's and Youth Sports School of the Olympic Reserve for table tennis.

Tatarstan’s athletes have been demonstrating commendable results. Since 2008, there has been a trend of positive growth in the number of medals won at national and international competitions. This proves the effectiveness of the athlete training system in the Republic of Tatarstan.

Thus, the Universiade gave a powerful impetus to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle among the general public and the renewal of the entire system of physical education and sports.


  1. Sports facilities for competitions [Electronic source]: official web site of the directorate of the XXVII World Summer Student Games-2013 in Kazan. – Kazan – URL: (In Russian)

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