Russia World Cup 2018: Here's the story about the stadium with the bleachers on the outside

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At weddings, an unexpected person bringing a plus-one becomes a problem. You need to rearrange seating, think about meals and figure out exactly how you're going to make it all work. Russia encountered this problem with the 23,000-capacity Ekaterinburg Arena, only FIFA brought 12,000 extra people, and Russia handled it in a rather unique way.

FIFA requires that World Cup stadiums have at least a capacity of 35,000, so Russia decided to compromise. Yes, this is totally fine indeed, as the tweet above by Michael Katz says. Russian officials chose practicality over aesthetic and decided to just build a temporary seating area outside of the otherwise enclosed arena.

Ekaterinburg opened in 1957 and is a protected landmark, meaning that its architecture had to be preserved. And it was, mostly. The stands are 139 feet tall, and they look like this from the outside:

This venue will host four group stage games: Egypt vs. Uruguay on June 15, France vs. Peru on June 21, Japan vs. Senegal on June 24 and Mexico vs. Sweden on June 27. Here's a complete guide on all 12 venues across 11 Russian cities. After the tournament is over, the arena will go back to its original seating capacity of 23,000.

The vertigo-inducing stands look like this from the top:

Now, to Russia's credit, there is some cause to celebrate this solution. While it's aesthetically strange, it does circumvent a problem that has plagued host countries: White elephant stadiums. These are stadiums that serve a limited number of uses before falling into disrepair due to lack of use and, therefore, maintenance. According to the New York Times, this project cost approximately $199 million, which is steep, but nothing compared to the wasted investment into a stadium that goes unused after a few uses.

This isn't unprecedented, mind you. Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil underwent some renovations to meet FIFA qualifications as well, adding about 20,000 temporary seats. Where during construction it looked like this:

It ended up looking like this when it was done.

It's a work-around, and there will be those that think that it looks jury-rigged. For Russia, however, it's a way to keep a landmark involved in the biggest international tournament in the world and meet FIFA's standards. It looks quirky, but everyone wins, except for the people sitting in the top row.

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