FC Krasnodar’s new stadium was officially opened at the weekend when it hosted Russia’s friendly against Costa Rica. If you haven’t seen it, feast your eyes upon this:
The stadium looks elegant from the outside and simply gorgeous from a bird’s-eye view, but it’s what inside that separates it from any other venue on Earth. Running underneath the roof, the stadium features a full 360-degree video screen with the capability to light up the entire place – the first of its kind.*
It’s absolutely stunning, but here’s the bad news: this beautiful palace won’t be hosting any 2018 World Cup games. That is an absolute travesty.
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Krasnodar was not chosen as one of Russia's eleven host cities most likely because its stadium’s capacity of 33,000 is just 2,000 short of FIFA requirements to host World Cup games. Really, Krasnodar? You couldn't make room for just 2,000 more seats? Maybe make the waves on the video screen not quite as pronounced? Apparently not, so now places like Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg will get to host games in their not nearly as dope stadiums while Krasnodar's will stand empty.
*Atlanta's $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, set to open next year, will also feature a circular LED board, though it will run along the edge of the roof instead.