The 2018 World Cup has already “inspired lots of confidence” that this will be a World Cup that’s run “smoothly and effectively.” You know, with rampant racism, sexism and homophobia going on and the crackdown on hooliganism on everyone but those living there, Russia’s World Cup Committee seems to be doing a “great job.”

Now, the committee will need to get creative in making sure their stadiums are FIFA compliant. One thing they are doing is building seats outside World Cup stadiums to meet minimum requirements.

FIFA rules state that World Cup stadiums must have at least 40,000 seats and that the opening match and the Final must have at least 80,000 seats. At the Ekaterinburg Arena, a temporary set of bleachers will be built outside the stadium, where an opening in the side of the structure will allow fans to see inside.

In some ways, it’s a great idea in that this allowed the bid committee to not have to build a new stadium solely for the purpose of having a stadium with more seats. On the other hand, shouldn’t it have been planned out to go somewhere else in Russia? I mean, it’s only been seven years since the World Cup was voted to take place in Russia.

For one thing, having seats placed outside the stadium makes this looks like a monstrosity. Also, this seems very far removed from everything. Sure, you can see the match but the atmosphere will be next to nothing when you have a wide open area on one side of the stadium. Also, the fans in these seats probably will miss out as well.

In fairness, Brazil did something similar at the Arena de Sao Paulo for the 2014 World Cup to bump up the seating capacity to around 63,000. The added seats fit in a lot better with the aesthetics of the Arena de Sao Paulo rather than Ekaterinburg Arena, but if I am criticizing Russia’s bid committee for this move, Brazil deserves that same criticism.

Both situations just seem like a makeshift effort that cheapens the entire concept. I support the concept of the idea because way too much money is funneled in each World Cup to begin with, but at least do a better job at incorporating temporary seating into the stadium rather than making it look so out of place.

[SB Nation/Photo: @oldLentach]

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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