, but FIFA doesn't care about your history. FIFA wants a 35,000-capacity stadium for its World Cup matches, and it doesn't care how they get it. So Russia renovated Ekaterinburg with an additional 12,000 seats set on 149-foot tall temporary bleachers that stick outside of the stadium itself.
While it appeases the two governing bodies to have the additional capacity, Twitter very much cares. Especially when the result looks like this:
Is it aesthetically pleasing? No. Not in the slightest. It looks like Ekaterinburg is made of folded-up cardboard and one of the walls fell. However, it got the job done, and that's what matters. If you're wondering what it looks like to watch from these seats, feast your eyes:
Even weirder: Some people noticed that there were an awful lot of empty seats in the arena proper.
Egypt are Africa’s most successful side and Uruguay have some superstars, why is there empty seats?— Lucas Swain (@LucasSwain95) June 15, 2018
Stands behind the goals seem packed, but either that’s poor location or pricing planning.
BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce saying 25,00 rubles (£300) is a lot of money for the locals to pay in Ekaterinburg. No, Jonathan, it's a lot of money for *anyone* to pay for a seat at a football match.— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) June 15, 2018
The temporary stands at Ekaterinburg are full, and the pitchside seats at half empty. Peak FIFA.— NTX (@NTXabi) June 15, 2018
Loads of empty seats in the ‘normal’ stands at the Ekaterinburg Arena, but most of the ones in the outer-space extended stand appear to be taken. Odd.— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) June 15, 2018
But that apparently didn't stop people from sitting in the stands, as you can see in this overhead shot.
And people had a lot to say about the weird setup.
I'm not the first person to observe this, but that Ekaterinburg Arena set-up is one of the most mental things I've ever seen at a football ground.— Martin I WARNED YOU JULIUS Belam (@MartinBelam) June 15, 2018
It looks a bit jury-rigged and arguably silly, but it looks like the bleachers had an unintended effect: The strange view allowed some fans to not be priced out. So people can mock it all they want, but the fans seem to appreciate the stands.