- Yekaterinburg Arena had to go through a bit of a makeover before it was ready to make its World Cup debut.
- The Arena did not initially meet the World Cup minimum capacity.
- Some fans will sit on bleachers built on top of scary-looking scaffolding.
While stadiums in Moscow and other cities had been World Cup ready for some time, there were a few stadiums that needed a bit of touching up before hosting matches for the tournament. Take for instance, the Yekaterinburg Arena, the easternmost host of any 2018 matches, which had to go through a bit of a makeover before it was ready to make its World Cup debut.
The Arena was built in 1957, and did not initially meet the World Cup minimum of 35,000 capacity for hosting games. In order to add roughly 8,000 seats to the stadium, the World Cup construction team got a little creative, and put bleachers on top of what looks like elaborate scaffolding outside of the stadium, offering what can still technically be called “views” of the pitch.
Nice view from the new stadium in Ekaterinburg that will host the WC next summer. ????????♂️ pic.twitter.com/kdBZ0mHD45
— Stefano Conforti???? (@confortistefano) September 27, 2017
As you can tell from there, the seats are terrifyingly high in the air, putting spectators level with the roof of the building they are technically supposed to be inside of. With these seats apparently free standing, fans might have a tougher time finding a bathroom or refreshing their drink compared to those seated at midfield.
If you are afraid of heights, it might be best to splurge for tickets inside the actual stadium. But if you’re an adventurous sports enthusiast who has always wanted to take in a game at an odd angle from a free-standing, barebones structure, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.
The additional seating was completed in December of 2017, and has since been tested out by Russian crowds. From the looks of things, people are indeed able to take in the match, though these seats still clearly aren’t for the faint of heart.
The 2018 World Cup kicks off on Thursday with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the opening match in Moscow. Yekaterinburg Arena will make its World Cup debut the next day, hosting a match between Egypt and Uruguay.
More World Cup 2018:
- 8 teams to root for in the World Cup if your favourite country went bust in qualifying
- The new World Cup uniforms for every country
- World Cup 2018: Everything you need to know about all 32 teams competing for the biggest prize in football
- The one player you need to know from every country competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup
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