Obese soccer fans will sit more comfortably at Brazil's World Cup in 2014, according to a British tabloid.
The Sun reports that doublewide seats have been installed to accommodate spectators weighing up to 560 pounds. But customers will pay double the price as well.
In compliance with Brazil's disability laws that also cover the extremely overweight, the Catelao stadium in Fortaleza has built 120 oversized seats among its 64,000 capacity, the Sun said. In a rehearsal tournament for the world soccer spectacle, the Confederations Cup in June, the oversize seats will cost $57 while the cheapest standard seats are $28.50.
The Huffington Post reached out to World Cup organizers to confirm the use of the supersized chair that is making the rounds in an uncredited photo (see above). So until we hear back, keep your skeptic's hat on.
The extra-large chair (shown here at a Sao Paulo metro stop) is apparently already a fixture in Brazilian mass transit.
On another note, the Confederations Cup prices posted on the tournament website do not appear to jibe with the prices quoted by The Sun. Special seats are distinguished by "disabled" or "wheelchair" but none seems to be designated specifically for the obese.
The Christian Science Monitor notes that an obesity epidemic in Latin America has helped boost the tally of the world's "overweight or obese" to 1.5 billion adults.
Fifteen percent of Brazil's population is now obese, according to another story in the CSM, prompting politicians to enact laws to accommodate heavier citizens. That included special seating at public sports and entertainment arenas.
Around 500,000 fans are expected at the World Cup.