The Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, will feature an incredibly steep stand outside of the stadium, after the Russian Football Union (RFS) came up with the idea in order to appease Fifa regulations regarding capacity at World Cup venues.
The multi-purpose facility, more commonly known as Central Stadium, had an initial capacity of 27,000. However, USA Today reports that Fifa, football’s global governing body, has a rule in place that requires all stadia hosting World Cup matches to have a capacity of at least 35,000.
Russia will stage the Fifa World Cup next year and Central Stadium, which will be known as the Ekaterinburg Arena throughout the national team tournament, is one of the host venues.
Instead of adding more seating inside the stadium, the RFS has taken the unusual approach of constructing a bleacher structure that is located outside the venue.
Если ты чувствуешь себя одиноко, просто вспомни про трибуну стадиона в Екатеринбурге, которая будет стоять отдельно от всего стадиона pic.twitter.com/GjG7NWL8NF
— Лентач (@oldLentach) September 28, 2017
The addition of the exterior stand will boost the capacity of the venue to 45,000, thus comfortably meeting Fifa requirements and making the Ekaterinburg Arena fit to host World Cup matches.
The revelation comes after Fifa recently issued an update on progress of work on Russia 2018 venues, saying that each stadium is on track to be finished in time for the start of next year’s tournament.
Regarding the Ekaterinburg Arena, Fifa said developers working on the site are in the final stage of the renovation project.
Landscape contractors are working on the venue, with covered areas for fans being fitted and the artificial fibres for the pitch having been sewn in, while work on the lighting system is progressing well.
Fifa said the stadium will be cleared to open “in the very near future”.
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