Saudi Arabia reveals high-tech stadium design atop cliff for 2034 World Cup

Saudi Arabia reveals high-tech stadium design atop cliff for 2034 World Cup By A Robin - January 17, 2024
Saudi stadium

Saudi stadium

Saudi Arabia revealed designs Monday for a high-tech stadium atop a 200-meter high cliff near Riyadh where the kingdom plans to stage games at the 2034 World Cup.

The 45,000-seat venue will be named Prince Mohammed bin Salman stadium for the crown prince of the kingdom that wants to become the major player in world sports over the next decade.

The design has a retractable roof and field, plus an LED wall with hundreds of meters (yards) of screens to create an immersive experience for fans, the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) said in a statement.

"The futuristic venue aims to reinvent the traditional stadium concept,” the QIC said.

The stadium is a centerpiece of the Qiddiya City project that aims to create an entertainment, gaming and sports hub 45 kilometers (30 miles) from downtown Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

The LED wall is designed to open out on to views of the city below, the QIC said.

The QIC is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund.

The QIC said the new stadium is intended to become the home venue of Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, the Riyadh clubs who last year signed Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, respectively.

Saudi Arabia is the only bidder to host the men’s World Cup in 2034, with FIFA set to confirm its pick late this year in a confirmation vote by more than 200 national soccer federations.

FIFA bid documents state 14 stadiums are needed for the 48-team tournament. The futuristic new city Neom is also likely to be in the World Cup project.

The Qiddiya stadium is planned to have a lake built beneath it.

"The lake will use rainwater capture from the stadium and the surrounding area to precool the air conditioning system,” the QIC said.

Saudi officials, who also are preparing to host the 2027 Asian Cup, have said the kingdom wants to host all 104 games at the 2034 World Cup on its territory.

However, several neighboring and nearby states can be called on to join the project.

The architect attached to the new Saudi stadium project is Populous, a global firm with main offices in Kansas City and London. It has worked on Olympic stadiums in Australia and Russia and designed the acclaimed home of Premier League club Tottenham that was also purpose-built for NFL games.

By A Robin - January 17, 2024

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