After spending roughly $11 billion to host the World Cup, Russia will kick off the competition on Thursday (June 14) with matches being played at 12 stadiums around the country.
Along with much-needed transportation and security infrastructure, a massive chunk of Russia’s spending was on the stadiums themselves. Russia commissioned several new ones, while expanding and updating a clutch of existing venues, with sometimes terrifying outcomes. Overall, around $4 billon was spent on stadium construction and renovations over the past several years.
In photos released by Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, the 12 stadiums and their varying architectural flourishes are seen from the unique vantage point, the International Space Station.