Ekaterinburg Stadium, one of the venues for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has undergone a nightmarish makeover in order to meet FIFA standards.
World Cup venues are required to have a capacity of at least 35,000 seats, which meant that one Russian stadium had to go through a drastic renovation to meet the requirement.
“In the case of Ekaterinburg, temporary seats are being installed in order to ensure that the renovation work would conserve the historical facade of the stadium and that maintenance costs are reduced after the FIFA World Cup,” a FIFA spokesman told the Guardian on Wednesday.
“Inspection visits and detailed reports have shown that the temporary seats in the Ekaterinburg Arena fully comply with all safety and security requirements.”
FIFA’s official public relations Twitter account later insinuated that the plan was partly approved so that the stadium would remain appropriately sized for the city of 1.4 million after the World Cup ends.
“A World Cup stadium should meet the actual needs of the local population after the event,” the FIFA Media account said, adding a “thumbs up” emoji “to Ekaterinburg.”
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
The solution at Ekaterinburg will help the city avoid that problem, as it can simply disassemble the temporary seats that have been built on either end of the stadium when the tournament concludes. The practicality of the plan, however, hasn’t stopped soccer fans from criticizing the decision, mostly because the view from the temporary stands is far from ideal.
Ekaterinburg Arena is set to host four matches during the World Cup.