The term white elephant means "a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of" and with these 2018 World Cup stadiums, there is a worry that they may remain only as a reminder of the tournament.
The idea of the stadiums going to waste doesn’t seem as likely as that of former host countries like South Africa. With teams like Spartak Moscow the new stadiums will be useful and also for Zenit St Petersburg whose ground was opened in 2017, Capital FM Moscow's Alan Moore told Team 33's Raf Diallo that "could fill their stadium twice over when things are going well".
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Other stadiums like the one in Sochi were never really designed to be football stadiums. Sochi was designed to be more of a ceremonial stadium but will have a team from the second division ready to take it.
One of the biggest worries is for the stadium in Volgograd. While the area does have a good football tradition, it is a worry that there isn’t a club that can fully avail of it.
Kaliningrad may go to waste but Moore does think that it was necessary for the tournament to bring it to European audiences.