|By Jason Garcia, The Orlando Sentinel,
Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
April 13, 2012--Universal Parks & Resorts is planning to build an indoor theme park in Moscow, as part of a massive sports-and-entertainment complex announced Wednesday by a Russian developer.
The 37-acre indoor park would be the first Universal Studios theme park in Europe.
Universal Parks & Resorts, a unit of Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, would also build a Universal Studios-themed indoor water park and CityWalk shopping-and-dining district as part of the broader entertainment complex, which has been dubbed "Galactica Park." The venue will also include two hotel rooms with a combined 1,100 rooms, a convention center and a 20,000-seat arena, among other facilities.
The project is expected to cost $2.8 billion, according to Reuters, which cited a co-owner of Galactica Park's Russian management company. Construction could begin as early as 2014 and Galactica Park could open to the public as early as 2018.
Universal Parks & Resorts, the parent company of Universal Orlando, said it is not yet ready to discuss details of the planned theme park or water park, or any of their respective attractions.
"Russia is an important and attractive market and we see significant potential for the kind of themed entertainment experience we offer," Michael Silver, president of global business development for Universal Parks & Resorts, said in a written statement. "Entertainment is a global language and we will be delivering the same thrills, excitement and unique family experiences that Universal's worldwide theme parks are known for creating."
A Universal Studios in Moscow would be the second major American-branded theme park in Europe. The Walt Disney Co.'s Disneyland Paris resort, which includes two parks, draws approximately 15 million visitors a year.
In addition to its two-park Orlando resort, Universal also operates theme parks in Southern California, Japan and Singapore. It has announced plans for additional parks in South Korea and Dubai.
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