A farmer from Russia has built an entire stadium using straw in a gentle mockery of the spiralling costs incurred by his football team, Zenit St Petersburg, and their vastly expensive new stadium.
Indeed, Zenit has reportedly spent in the region of £550million building and opening their new eponymous 64,000-capacity arena in time for the 2018 World Cup.
Roman Ponomaryov’s straw version cost a mere £500 and is a damn sight more eco-friendly…
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) July 23, 2017
The straw arena was built using 4,500 hay bales in a field on Ponomaryov’s farm in the southerly Stavropol region of Russia.
The signs, which read Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Messi, are on display outside a soccer stadium at an amusement park, made of straw and erec- pic.twitter.com/OiM1xho9HG
— Boateng Duka Kofi (@DukaKofi) July 20, 2017
According to the Associated Press, it can seat 300 people and has already played host to its inaugural tournament, with several local teams competing in a round-robin competition last weekend.
It was also created as a satirical comment about the new Zenit Arena, its bloated budget and its controversial construction.
Speaking to reporters, Ponomaryov said:
It’s good to get people excited and create a sports atmosphere ahead of the World Cup.
But it seemed pretty strange… how the cost of the [Zenit] stadium and its construction time-frame were increasing.
Apparently Zenit are aware of the straw stadium and have accepted it in “good humour”, offering Ponomaryov a complimentary ticket to an upcoming match at the actual Zenit Arena as a gesture of goodwill.