A Russian stadium had to add enormous bleachers for the World Cup — and it looks frightening

  • 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.


Over the next four weeks, 32 nations will meet in 11 cities across Russia to compete for the 2018 World Cup.

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.

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.

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Russian arena adds menacing bleachers for World Cup
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Russian arena adds menacing bleachers for World Cup
Russian police officers gather on the stands of Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg on May 24, 2018. - The 35,000-seater stadium will host four group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the metal structure of the tribune of Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg on May 24, 2018. - The 35,000-seater stadium will host four group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg on May 24, 2018. - The 35,000-seater stadium will host four group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the metal structure of the tribune of Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg on May 24, 2018. - The 35,000-seater stadium will host four group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on May 24, 2018 shows the metal structure of the tribune of Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg. - The 35,000-seater stadium will host four group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 13, 2018: A view of Yekaterinburg Arena ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Donat Sorokin/TASS (Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 13, 2018: A grandstand at Yekaterinburg Arena ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Donat Sorokin/TASS (Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 13, 2018: A view of Yekaterinburg Arena ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Donat Sorokin/TASS (Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images)
A picture taken on May 24, 2018 shows the metal structure of the tribune of Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg. - The 35,000-seater stadium will host four group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Soccer Football - Russian Football Championship - Ural vs Spartak Moscow - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - April 15, 2018 Fans during the match. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
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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.

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